Cervical screening has changed. From 2019 the National Screening Program will now test your smear sample initially for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) to determine whether you have any of the high risk types of this virus which we know are associated with the majority of cervical cancers. The cervical screening test is taken in the same way as before. Once the sample has been taken in our clinic by one of our highly experienced lady doctors, the laboratory will have all that they need to perform the tests.
If your sample tests negative for high risk HPV then it will not now be necessary for your cervical cells to be examined under a microscope as it is highly unlikely that you will develop cervical cancer. You will then be recalled for your next screening at the normal 3 yearly interval or 5 years if you are over 50 years old.
If your sample tests positive for high risk HPV, it will then be necessary for your smear sample to be looked at under the miscroscope in the laboratory to determine whether your cells are normal or show changes which could in time become cancerous. If your cells are normal then you will be invited for a further screening in 12 months. If your cells are abnormanl, you will be referred to a gynaecologist who will examine the neck of the womb in a simple procedure in an outpatient clinic using a miscroscope – this is called colposcopy and has been used to assess abnormal cells for many years.
We understand that you may have questions about the new way that your sample will be tested. Dr Lewis and Dr Skilbeck will be very happy to answer all your queries ahead of your appointment. Please call our office and book a telephone appointment.