Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3 women lose their lives from the disease every day. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35.
75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (also known as smear tests), however 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test.
So what happens?
You receive a letter through the post asking you to make an appointment for a cervical screening test. The letter should contain the details of the place you need to contact for the appointment.
Screening is usually carried out by the practice nurse at your GP clinic. You can ask to have a female doctor or nurse.
If possible, try to book an appointment during the middle of your menstrual cycle (usually 14 days from the start of your last period), as this can ensure a better sample of cells is taken.
It's best to make your appointment for when you don't have your period.