What is Cervical Cancer?
A cervical smear is a test to check the changes in the cells of the cervix that may develop into cervical cancer, if untreated. If the cancerous cells are detected early, they can be prevented from multiplying.
Cervical cancer is most common for women aged between 25 and 49 and it is the third most common gynaecological cancer. Around 2,830 cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the UK in 2007, which is 55 women every week.
Worldwide, more than half a million women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008.
Around 75% of diagnosed women survive the disease. Cervical cancer survival is higher in women diagnosed at a younger age, women under 40 years of age have survival rates of more than 85%.
Nine hundred and sixty women died in 2008 in the UK from this disease. Worldwide, cervical cancer is responsible for almost 1 in 10 female cancer deaths.
What is HPV?
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection of the skin and the linings of the body cavities. It is transmitted through skin to skin contact and usually has no symptoms at all.
Eight out of ten people will be infected from the virus at some point of their lives in the UK. The virus mostly occurs on fingers hands, mouth and genitals. There are many different types of HPV from which most are harmless, but around 30 of them can cause cancer (cervical cancer).
We test for HPV as part of our cervical smear testing and can also tell you what kind (subtype) of HPV you have to assess your risk of cervical cancer and genital warts and will give you a recommendation about how frequently you need to have a smear test.
Smear test and HPV Services we offer
We provide cervical smear tests and screening for human papilloma virus as part of your smear test. We also offer subtyping of HPV if your test comes back positive. This will help us to determine whether your virus strain is high or lower risk.
We also offer Gardasil, which is a vaccine against human papilloma virus. If you have not been sexually active, this can be administered to a woman of any age. If you have been sexually active, we recommend checking your current HPV status first.
Routine smear tests are a vital part of women's healthcare and having it done privately has a number of benefits: