The cervical cancer screening test – or smear test – has been around since the 1980s. But some confusion persists as to what it is. Many think that it’s a test for cervical cancer. Yet it’s actually a test looking for abnormal cells that have the potential to turn into cancer.
Uncertainties like these, and fear about what the test is like, can lead people to ignore their invitations when the letter pops through the door. That can have serious, life-threatening consequences. An Eve Appeal survey for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2020 found that 28% of women and people with cervixes invited for cervical screening in the last 12 months didn’t attend.
Nearly 1 in 3 of those who didn’t attend were put off by covid concerns. The Cervical Screening Programme is up and running around the UK, although some surgeries may face delays or postponements. To find out more about cervical screening during covid, visit our cancer and coronavirus information hub.
An Introduction to Cervical Screenings
What you should know about HPV
Cervical screening results and what they mean
The signs, symptoms and risks of cervical cancer