In support of European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (January 24-30 ), CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme is encouraging every woman aged 25 to 60 who receives a CervicalCheck invitation to accept it and go for her free smear test.
A smear test is a simple procedure that only takes minutes and is the most effective way to detect changes in the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb ). The earlier cell changes are found, the easier they are to treat.
CervicalCheck has a list of eligible women nationwide aged 25 to 60. Over the next three year screening round, every woman on the list will be sent an invitation for a free smear test by post.
When you receive your invitation
With an invitation letter, you can arrange to have a free smear test with any smeartaker (doctor or practice nurse ) registered with the programme. Over 4,150 GPs, practice nurses, Women’s Health, Family Planning and Well Woman Clinics all over Ireland are registered. Details of all registered smeartakers can be found online at www.cervicalcheck.ie or by calling CervicalCheck on freephone 1800 45 45 55.
How often should you have a smear test?
It is recommended that women have a smear test every three to five years, depending on age. However if you have not had a smear test in the last three years and have not yet received a letter from CervicalCheck, you can request an invitation by simply registering online at www.cervicalcheck.ie, by completing and returning a form by freepost, or by calling CervicalCheck on freephone 1800 45 45 55. After this, your invitation will arrive in about three weeks.
Most smear test results are found to be perfectly normal and CervicalCheck will send you the results within four weeks of having your free smear test. The result is also available from your smeartaker. A successful national cervical screening programme can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in women aged 25 to 60 in Ireland by as much as 80 per cent over time.
So when you receive your CervicalCheck invitation, make sure you accept.