A cervical smear (or smear test) is an examination to check the changes in the cells of the cervix that may, if untreated, develop into cervical cancer. If the cancerous cells are detected early, they can be prevented from multiplying. A smear test involves taking cells from the cervix using a small brush. The procedure is simple and accurate. We work with female GPs every day who can help explain the test, discuss your relevant symptoms and conduct the cervical smear for you. Results are available in 2 - 5 days.
What is Cervical Cancer?
The third most common gynaecological cancer is cervical cancer, most commonly being found in women between the ages of 25 and 49. Every week 55 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, equating to approximately 2,830 cases in the UK in 2007.
Worldwide, more than half a million women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008.
Around 75% of diagnosed women survive the disease. Cervical cancer survival is higher in women diagnosed at a younger age, women under 40 years of age have survival rates of more than 85%.
Nine hundred and sixty women died in 2008 in the UK from this disease. Worldwide, cervical cancer is responsible for almost 1 in 10 female cancer deaths.
A cervical smear test is recommended regularly to all women over 25.
What is HPV?
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection which affects the linings of the body cavities and the skin. There are usually no symptoms of the infection and it is transmitted via skin to skin contact.
Eight out of ten people will be infected from the virus at some point of their lives in the UK. The virus mostly occurs on fingers hands, mouth and genitals. There are many different types of HPV from which most are harmless, but around 30 of them can cause cancer (cervical cancer).
As part of our private smear test, we will test you for HPV and additionally will be able to inform you as to what kind (subtype) of HPV you have. With this information, we will be able to give you a recommendation on how often a smear test will be needed and assess your risk of cervical cancer and genital warts.
Private smear test and HPV Services we offer
We provide private cervical smear tests and HPV tests as part of your overall smear test. We also offer subtyping of HPV if your test comes back positive. This will help us to determine whether your virus strain is high or lower risk.
We also offer a vaccine against human papilloma virus. If you have not been sexually active, this can be administered to a woman of any age. If you have been sexually active, we recommend checking your current HPV status first.
Routine smear tests are a vital part of women's healthcare and having it done privately has a number of benefits: