(Katie Wright/ Independent) — Going for a cervical screening – or smear test – can be a bit daunting, but thankfully most people’s results will come back normal. So, what happens if you receive a letter telling you your smear test found HPV, or abnormal cells were detected?
It’s important to be aware that smear tests – which are recommended every three years for women aged 25 to 49 and every five years for women aged 50 to 64 and involve taking a small sample of cells from the cervix – are not designed to diagnose cervical cancer. Instead, they’re designed to help prevent cancer from developing in the first place.
The tests screen for HPV (human papillomavirus) as this is known to be one of the most common causes of cervical cancer. However, even if HPV is detected during your smear, the chances of getting cancer are still low. (…)