Over 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Cervical screening – or a smear test – can help find cervical irregularities before they develop into cervical cancer and saves lives.
Cancer of the cervix often has no symptoms in its early stages. If you do have symptoms, the most common is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which can occur during or after sex, in between periods, or new bleeding after you have been through the menopause.
Every year approximately five million women in the UK are invited for a smear test by their GP Practice. Cervical cancer is the 19th most common cause of cancer death in females in the UK, accounting for 1% of all cancer deaths in females.
How do I access a Cervical Smear test?
The Cervical Screening service is free and women registered with a GP will be contacted to invite them to attend for regular screening at their GP Practice, along with further information about the Cervical Screening programme. Women aged between 25 – 49, will be invited to have smear test every 3 years, with women aged between 50 – 64, every 5 years.
Uptake of cervical screening is at its lowest nationally in the last twenty years, particularly in Hammersmith and Fulham, with recent data suggesting that just over half of eligible women attended their GP practice to have a smear test.
What is the dedicated Cervical Cancer Screening team in Hammersmith and Fulham?
The Hammersmith and Fulham GP Federation, which is an organisation that represents all the GP Practices in Hammersmith and Fulham, has been working closely with RM Partners (http://rmpartners.nhs.uk/) (the Cancer Alliance across North West and South West London) to establish a dedicated Cervical Cancer Screening team. This team includes trained female nurses who are delivering cervical screening clinics out of 7 GP Practices located across the borough at times accessible to women, including evenings and weekends.
We would urge any patient eligible for cervical screening and who may need additional advice or support to access screening, to contact either their GP, or the Hammersmith and Fulham GP Federation Cervical Screening Project Team (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group or Jo’s Trust.