Cervical Screening

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet in England two women die every day from it. Screening can help stop cancer before it starts. So don’t ignore your cervical screening invite and if you missed your last one, book an appointment with your GP practice.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV. If left untreated, these cells can develop into cancer. Cell changes are easily treated and this prevents cervical cancer.

If you have a cervix and have had any kind of sexual contact, with people of any gender, you should have your cervical screening. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which is a common virus most of us will have at some point during our lives. HPV is spread through close skin to skin contact during any type of sexual activity.

In England, women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 should go for regular cervical screening when invited, every 3-5 years depending on their age. Don’t ignore your invite letter – it’s a few minutes that could save your life. If you are a trans person who is registered as male, you will need to request an appointment from your GP practice or a local sexual health clinic.