Cervical cancer screening

Cervical cancer screening in Solihull looks for early signs of the disease in otherwise healthy people that do not have any symptoms.

If you are concerned that you have symptoms of cervical cancer, you should:

  • contact your GP
  • call 111

NHS Cervical Screening Programme

The NHS provides its free NHS Cervical Screening Programme to all women aged 25 to 64.

It is offered every 3 to 5 years and costs about £175 million each year.

It is important to understand that:

  • cervical screening is not a test for cancer
  • cervical screening is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix
  • cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer through finding and treating early abnormalities which could develop into the condition

Screening is offered at differing intervals, depending on age:

  • 25 years old – 1st invitation to screening
  • 25 to 49 – every 3 years
  • 50 to 64 – every 5 years
  • 65+ - screening is offered to people having recent abnormal tests or not having a screening since they had their 50th birthday

A guide to the cervical screening process is available on the NHS Choices website.

Understanding cervical cancer screening

Screening is the term given to looking for the early signs of a disease.

Screening can also:

  • find changes in the body that may not be a sign of cancer
  • allow for early treatment to prevent cancer developing later
  • give a greater chance that cancer can be cured if detected

In addition to the cervical cancer screening programme, there are 2 other cancer screening programmes in Solihull:

The symptoms of cervical cancer

Though the NHS says that cervical cancer screening prevents around 4,000 cases every year, like all testing, it is not 100 per cent.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of cervical cancer, which commonly are:

  • vaginal bleeding, particularly if experienced after having sex
  • vaginal bleeding outside of your normal menstruation cycle
  • vaginal bleeding after the menopause
  • pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • an unpleasant smelling or coloured vaginal discharge

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should visit your doctor.

Useful links for further information, advice and support cervical cancer