Many deaths from cervical cancer can be prevented through screening. Detection of early cervical cancer or precancerous lesions by a liquid based cytology (LBC) test can allow treatment at an early stage when this is most effective.
In the UK, all women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free liquid based cytology (LBC) test every three to five years. Following re-evaluation of the interval for cervical screening, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme now offers screening at different intervals depending on age.
The NHS “call and recall” system invites all eligible women who are registered with a GP for testing. This system keeps track of any follow-up investigations, and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is important that women ensure their GP has their correct name and address, and inform their GP if these change.
Women who have not had a recent liquid based cytology (LBC) test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter.
Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening at the age of 25. If you have not received an invitation for screening, and are between the ages of 25 and 64, you should contact your GP for advice.