Recently, screening for cervical cancer is a worldwide phenomenon after the number of women going for these checks was very low. This was owing to the fact that there was a significant increase in the number of women who decided to go for cervical screening after the untimely death of a celebrity from cervical cancer at the age of 27.
While this happened 10 years ago, it seemed like women had finally gotten the message, but recent findings have shown that the message has been lost in the past decade. For this reason, something needs to do to improve the number of women who go for cervical screening.
It is important to get women to see the importance of cervical screening once more. With the help of this article, we will address common questions concerning cervical screening with the hope of buttressing the importance of cervical screening.
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening refers to as a pap smear test or a smear test. It is a vital preventive test that identifies harmful cells before they get the chance to develop into cervical cancer.
How serious is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer to affect humans, especially women. In the UK, nine women diagnosed with cervical cancer daily, and three women out of these nine women lose their lives to the deadly disease.
Who is at greater risk of cervical cancer?
Women of all ages are at risk of cervical cancer, although it is extremely rare for women under the age of 25 to get the infection. However, women between the ages of 30 and 45 and are sexually active, are at greater risk of cancer.
Who should go for cervical screening?
Every woman from the ages of 25 to 64 should go for cervical screening tests. Women between the ages of 25 and 49 should go for the screening every three years, while women between the ages of 50 to 64 should go for the screening every five years.
Is cervical screening very effective?
Cervical screening is very effective. In fact, 75% of cervical cancer cases are possible to prevent through the help of regular cervical screening.
What happens during cervical screening?
When it is time for your cervical screening, you will request to remove items of clothing from your waist down, and you need to lie down on your back on the examination bed. You need to bend your knees in a position that allows you to keep your ankles together while your knees fall to the side naturally.
A sterilised instrument called a speculum will insert into your vagina. Note that the speculum comes in different sizes, so you can ask for the size to change if you feel uncomfortable. The speculum will gently open your vaginal walls open so that the cervix is visible. A specially designed brush will insert into the cervix to collect cell samples. The entire process takes only a few minutes, but you may feel slightly uncomfortable. Note that it is not a painful procedure, so be sure to complain if you feel any pain.
The collected samples will send to a laboratory, and the results will available within 2 or 3 working days.
Is there a preferred time to book a cervical screening appointment?
Yes, there is. The best time to book an appointment for cervical screening is in the middle of your menstrual cycle. This is approximately 14 days after your last menstrual flow, as this period gives the best specimen. If you can, try to book the appointment during this time so that no menstrual blood will be present on the screening day.
Also, before the screening, do not engage in sexual intercourse before the day of your screening as spermicidal gel, sperms, or even lubricants can interfere with the collection of cell samples from the cervix.
If you are undergoing vaginal pessaries to treat an infection, postpone your screening for at least a week until the treatment is completed.
Finally, if you are using vaginal oestrogen cream, do not use it 2 days before the day of your screening and on the day of the screening. Also, avoid the use of tampons for at least 2 days before the day of the screening.
What if my test results indicate abnormal cells are present?
Although most women receive results that say the cells are normal, about 1 in 20 women receive results that show abnormal cell changes in the cervix. Do not panic, an abnormal test result does not mean that you have cervical cancer. In some cases, the cells may revert to normal on their own. However, abnormal cells will have to be removed as they are at a high risk of becoming cancerous.
How much does it cost to get a cervical screening?
The cost of getting a cervical screening varies with the doctor or specialist you visit and their location. At Private Doctor London, you can go for a cervical screening test at £170 with our practice nurse. On the other hand, cervical screening costs £205 with our specialist doctor.
Contact us at Private Doctor London if you have any questions regarding cervical screening or if you want to book a health screening in London. You can contact us by giving us a call or by sending us an email. Get in touch with us today to find out all you need to know about cervical screening.