Cervical Smear Test - Cervical smear test is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix. Most women's test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix.
Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.
Smears can only be booked if you have received an invitation letter in the post or a text from the Practice. To ensure that your smear test is most effective, 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. If you use a spermicide, a barrier method of contraception or a lubricant jelly, you shouldn't use these for 24 hours before the test, as the chemicals they contain may affect the test.
Mammography - a three-yearly examination of the breast for cancer and is now done routinely for women between the age of 50-70 years in this area. You will be notified by post when your appointment is due. Women over 65 years are also eligible for routine three-yearly mammography but they must self-refer. Please ask a receptionist for the relevant form
Well Woman Check - a service for women who would like a general check up, cholesterol testing if necessary, blood pressure and urine check and advice on lifestyle. Advice on problems related to women’s health such as menopause, contraception and pre-conception can also be provided, as well as advice on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HPV Vaccination - Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13-18 year old girls.
The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) - is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.
Infection with some types of HPV can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells, which can lead to cervical cancer. Infection with other forms of HPV can also cause genital warts.
Other types of HPV infection can cause minor problems, such as common skin warts and verrucas.
Around 30 types of HPV are transmitted through sexual contact, including those that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK.
HPV infection is also linked to vaginal cancer and vulval cancer, although both are rare conditions.