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Cervical cancer screening

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years.
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Provided you are registered with a GP, your first invitation for screening will come shortly after your 25th birthday. From then until the age of 49, you will be invited for screening every three years. Between the ages of 50 and 64 years, the interval is five years. If you want to continue with screening after the age of 65, you should contact your GP or practice nurse to arrange an appointment.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb).

Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers developing but like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.

Find out about what is involved in cervical cancer screening.