Cervical Cancer Screening

What it is, who should have one, and why it's important.

What is Cervical Screening?

The cervical screening test (smear test) is designed to check cells from your cervix (neck of the womb) for any changes so that they can be monitored or treated.

Don't ignore your next smear invite. And, if you missed your last smear test, contact the practice to find a time that suits you.

Who is Invited?

All women aged 25 to 64 in Scotland are invited for cervical screening. Women aged 25 to 49 are invited every three years and women aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years. The test can pick up changes to the cells in the cervix which if left untreated could develop into cervical cancer. Women on non-routine screening (where screening results have shown changes that require further investigation/follow up) will be invited up to the age of 70.

Key Facts

  • Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 25 to 35 years of age in Scotland.
  • Around six women in Scotland are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week.
  • Cervical screening is the best protection against cervical cancer and saves around 5,000 lives every year in the UK.
  • Cervical screening prevents 8 out of 10 cervical cancers from developing.
  • Eligible women are sent an invitation letter to their home (with an information leaflet) and asked to make an appointment at their local GP or clinic.
  • The most up-to-date figures on annual uptake show that 73% of eligible women were screened.
Cervical Screening
Cervical Screening Poster

Posted: 15 February 2019