To mark Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17 – 23 January 2022), Fife healthcare professionals are reinforcing the importance of having smear tests and letting women know that the cervical screening test now offered is much more effective and sensitive.
The test provides screening for HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer, to help ensure any cell changes are identified and treated earlier.
Those who are found to have HPV will be invited for screening every year, so any cell changes can be closely monitored, and referred for further investigation and treatment if needed.
Scotland introduced five year cervical screening testing for women aged between 25-49 years with no HPV in March 2020, at the same time as HPV testing was introduced into the cervical screening programme.
Dr. Olukemi Adeyemi, a Consultant in Public Health for NHS Fife, said: “Even if everything feels fine, it’s important not to ignore your smear test invite as it can stop cervical cancer before it starts.
“HPV testing, which is carried out as part of your smear test, is a more effective and sensitive test, helping identify those at higher risk of cervical cancer much quicker”.
“It’s understandable to feel anxious about the smear test itself, but the five minute test is the best way of preventing cervical cancer, so please don’t put it off.”