With new technology cervical cancer can be prevented. The signs that it may develop can be checked and recognize by a simple pain free smear available under the NHS, to all women aged between 20 and 64yrs. Using this test, Cervical Cancer can be stopped before it gets started, yet still approximately 1500 women in the UK die from this preventable cancer, each year.
The test involves removing a few cells from the neck of the cervix, using a smooth wooden or plastic spatula. These cells are then sent away to be examined under a microscope. If any abnormality shows up, you will be recalled to have the test repeated. Sometimes this is necessary even if there are no early cancer cells present, as infections and inflammation can distort the normal reading.
The test must be carried out when you are not menstruating, i.e. mid cycle, and can be done by a nurse or a doctor at your G.Ps surgery or well women clinic. They will then explain to you when you will get the result and also how often the test is needed, normally every 5 years.
If discovered early, treatment is normally carried out at an out -patient clinic in hospital, and is virtually 100 per cent effective.
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