Cervical Screening

Cervical Screening Awareness Week - 2023

Charlton's End Cervical Cancer Campaign

At Charlton Medical Centre, we take our Cervical Smear Programme very seriously. We understand the importance of working with our patients to ensure they have timely access to their Cervical Smear appointments.

We are proud that our dedicated Nursing Team have performed 843 cervical smears since 1st January 2023.

Paulina, Kam and Viv have worked extremely hard and offer support and encouragement to patients when they attend for thier smear appointment. They know that patients are often nervous, especially attending for the first time. We are always ready to offer that extra support that you may need and you are always welcome to bring a friend or family member along for support.

But there is still a long way to go! Have you received an invitation from us to book your cervical smear appointment and not yet done so? Please do contact us to arrange this so that you can be a part of this successful programme. We can talk you through any questions you may have and we can do this together! We appreciate that our phones are very busy - please consider emailing us with a selection of days that are suitable for you to attend an appointment, and we will do our best to accomodate that. We will then email you back with your appointment details to save you having to call the surgery.

This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, get involved with us and help make it a reality!

Please click HERE for more information about Cervical Screening Awareness week.

Cervical Screening (Smear Tests)

Cervical Screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix. 

Most women's test results show that everything is normal. BUt for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.

NHS - Cervical Screening- The why, when & how guide to cervical screening

NHS Inform (Scottish Patients)- Cervical Screening information, risks, benefits and tests for patients based in Scotland.

Cervical Screening - This factsheet is for women who would like information about having a cervical smear test for screening. This means having the test when you dont's have any symptoms.

HPV Vaccination

Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13 - 18 year old girls.

The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million does have been given since the vaccination programme started.

What is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called mucosa. 

There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk. 

How Do You Get HPV?

Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.

How HPV Can Cause Cervical Cancer?

Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing. 

The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.

Cancer Research - HPV Facts and Information

NHS - HPV Vaccination - Why, how and when is the vaccination given and what are the side effects

HPV Vaccine- This factsheet is for people who would like information about the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

NHS Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.