Newcastle Medical Centre

Woman's Health

Cervical Screening (Smear Tests)
Cervical screening is very important for woman aged between 25 - 64 years.  We as a Practice are keen to raise awareness of this important test.  If you have any questions about cervical screening please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse. 

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

Most women's test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cervix cells. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will return to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.
The why, when & how guide to cervical screening
This website has lots of information on cervical screening and also the HPV Primary Screening. 

HPV Primary Screening

HPV primary screening is a way of testing the sample of cells taken at your cervical screening (smear test) appointment. It tests for a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cervical cell changes to develop into cervical cancer. (infromation provided by Jo's Trust)

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 the 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 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 the 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.

For more information relating to the HPV virus, testing or vaccines please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK every year. 8 out of 10 of these women are over 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites over 2 million women for screening every year, and detects over 14,000 cancers. 

Find out more about breast cancer screening

For more infromation on breast cancer please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

NHS Conditions and Treatments

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

If you have any health concerns please do not hesitate to contact us 

Newcastle Medical Centre
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