Information For Patients

About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb). Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer in Europe. Cervical cells change slowly and take many years to develop into cancer cells, making cervical cancer a preventable disease.

Does cervical cancer run in the family?
No. Daughters and other female relatives of women with not normal smear tests, pre-cancerous cells (CIN) or cervical cancer do not have an increased risk of not normal smear tests, pre-cancerous cells or cervical cancer.

How can I reduce my risk of getting cervical cancer?
1. Have a regular smear test to pick up any early changes.
2. Stop smoking
3. Visit your doctor if you have any concerns or symptoms such as irregular vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge

Where can I have a smear test?
You can choose to have a free smear test from any smeartaker (doctor or nurse) registered with CervicalCheck. Doctors and Nurses at Athboy Family Practice are registered smeartakers and Patients can contact the surgery to arrange an appointment. Please have your Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.) with you when you go to have your smear test.

When is the best time to have a smear test?
The best time to have your smear test is mid-cycle – that is 10 to 14 days after the first day of your period (if you are having periods). If you are not having periods or are menopausal, you can attend for your smear test at any time as long as you are not bleeding.

How often should I have a smear test?
After the first smear test, women aged 25 to 44 should have a smear test every three years. Women aged 45 to 60 should have a free smear test every five years once they have had two ‘no abnormality detected’ smear test results at three yearly intervals. Once part of the programme, CervicalCheck will advise you when your next free smear test is due. If you have any unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge before your next smear test is due, you should contact your GP (family doctor) immediately.

Source: www.cervicalcheck.ie