Cervical Screening

Cervical Screening

Cervical cancer is a very common but preventable cancer. We aim to reduce the number of women who develop and die from cervical cancer by providing routine screening at regular intervals. This screening aims to detect the precancerous changes which if not treated, may lead to cancer.

It is a disease that takes on average 10 to 20 years to develop. This means that screening for the detection and treatment of precancerous lesions can be very effective for women who have regular cervical smears.

The Guidelines recommend

  • All women who have ever had sexual intercourse should be offered a three yearly cervical smear test from age 20 to age 69.
  • If this is the first ever smear, or more than 5 years have elapsed since the previous smear, a second smear is recommended one year after the first, with three-yearly smears thereafter.

Some groups of women have higher rates of cervical cancer. These include:

  • women over 40 years
  • Māori women
  • Pacific women.

Regular screening significantly reduces the chance of suffering cervical cancer perhaps by as much as 90% however there are around 200 reported cases and 65 deaths per year of this cancer.

The best way to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer is to have regular cervical smear tests every three years.

Auckland PHO Medical Centres offer free cervical smears to some women. Ask your GP or practice nurse if you qualify.

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