Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system. It is the opening to the vagina from the womb.
Not everyone diagnosed with cervical cancer will have symptoms. Things to look out for include unusual vaginal bleeding, pain during sex or vaginal discharge.
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer. It tests for a virus called high risk human papilloma virus (HPV). High risk HPV can cause cervical cells to become abnormal. Most cases of cervical cancer are linked to high risk HPV.
The cervix is part of the female reproductive system. It is the lowest part of the womb and is at the top of the vagina. A nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix using a small soft brush (smear test) and sends the sample to the laboratory.
Who has cervical screening?
The NHS cervical screening programme invites women from age 25 to 64 for cervical screening. You get an invite every 3 years if you are aged 25 to 49. After that, you get an invite every 5 years until the age of 64. You need to be registered with a GP to get your screening invitation.