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Cervical Smears


Who is the clinic for?

This clinic is available to all women between the ages of 25 and 65.

What is the purpose of the clinic?

To perform a simple and painless test to detect any abnormality at an early stage every three years.

What are the clinic opening times?

Appointments for the clinic should be made via reception on 01865 872448.

Who runs the clinic?

Our practice nurses run the clinic.

How do I contact the clinic?

You can contact the clinic via the reception on 01865 872448.


Frequently asked questions


Q

What is cervical screening?


A

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). The first stage in cervical screening is a smear test.

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman's vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable. 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.


Q

Who is eligible for screening?


A

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical smear test every three to five years. In the light of new evidence1 the NHS Cervical Screening Programme will now be implementing screening at different intervals depending on age. The change is recommended to take place after a woman's next smear which will already have been scheduled.

The NHS call and recall system invites women who are registered with a GP. This also keeps track of any follow-up investigation, and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is therefore important that all women ensure their GP has their correct name and address details and inform them if these change.

Women who have not had a recent smear test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter. Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening at 25.

Q

What about women who are not sexually active?


A

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites all women between the ages of 25 and 64 for cervical screening. But if a woman has never been sexually active with a man, then the research evidence shows that her chance of developing cervical cancer is very low indeed. We do not say no risk, only very low risk. In these circumstances, a woman might choose to decline the invitation for cervical screening on this occasion. If a woman is not currently sexually active but has had male partners in the past, then we would recommend that she continues screening.

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Mammography Clinic


Who is the clinic for?

The clinic is for women within the ages of 50 and 64.

What is the purpose of the clinic?

To perform a mammogram for breast cancer screening purposes.

What are the clinic opening times?

There are no scheduled opening times for this clinic. If your are between the ages of 50 and 64 you will automatically be sent an appointment every three years.

Who runs the clinic?

Our practice nurses run the clinic.

How do I contact the clinic?

There is no need to contact the clinic as appointments are automatically scheduled every three years.

Further information


www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen/ - NHS Cancer Screening Site


www.nhs.uk - NHS Choices


Self Help

To be breast aware means becoming familiar with how your breasts look and feel. You should understand how your breasts may change at different times during the month and also as you get older. For some women, breasts become enlarged, tender and lumpy just before a period and then return to normal once the period is over, others may have swollen breasts throughout their cycle. Age, pregnancy, Hormone Replacement Therapy and the menopause can all affect the size and feel of your breasts. The important thing is to recognise which changes are usual and which are not. Make sure you know what is normal for you.

What you should do?

You can help yourself by checking your breasts at least once a month. Why not try doing it in the shower, using your hands to wash yourself rather than a sponge or flannel? Just a few minutes every now and then could help save your life. Look for these changes, and remember, if you are in any doubt visit your doctor.

Look!

Look at yourself in the mirror; look for changes that are unusual. For example: Any change in the shape or size of the breast or nipple Any change in the position or colouring of the nipple, including inversion Any dimpling, denting, scaling or discolouration of the skin

Feel!

Feel your breasts, feel for anything that is not normally there. For example:

• A lump or swelling in your breast, that feels different from the rest of your breast tissue

• A lump or swelling in the armpit, arm or around your collarbone

Be breast aware

Recognise any other changes. For example:

• Discharge from one or both nipples

• A pain in the breast, armpit or arm that is new for you

Report any changes that you find to your doctor without delay, and if you are aged 50 or over, attend routine breast screening.