Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Irish women under 44, with over 90 lives lost to the disease every year. Cervical cancer takes a long time to develop and often has no signs or symptoms.
The good news is that we know how to prevent it. Regular cervical screening ensures that any abnormal cells in the cervix are detected and treated early, preventing the development of cervical cancer.
The IFPA is a registered smeartaker with CervicalCheck, the National Cervical Screening Programme, and offers free cervical screening to women aged 25 to 60 at our two Dublin clinics.
Cervical screening involves a simple test, known as a smear test, to detect changes to the cells of the cervix which could develop into cancer. A trained doctor or nurse will take a sample of cells from the cervix using a small brush. The cells are then sent to a laboratory to be examined for any abnormalities.
Most smear test results are normal.
In the unlikely event that the results show abnormalities, they are classified as either low or high grade.
If the abnormalities are low grade, a HPV test is automatically carried out on the sample. If the HPV test is positive for high risk HPV, you will be referred to a specialist clinic for further investigation. If the HPV test is negative for high risk HPV, you will be advised to have a repeat smear test in 3-5 years, depending on your age.
If the abnormalities are classified as high grade, you will be referred to a specialist clinic for further investigation.
All follow up tests are also free of charge.
It is important to note that a smear test is for cervical screening only and is not designed to detect all gynaecological cancer. Therefore a negative smear test result does not mean that you should ignore any other symptoms. If you experience any unusual signs or symptoms after your smear test, visit your doctor.
Contact one of our two Dublin clinics:
If you don't live in the Dublin area, see www.cervicalcheck.ie for a full list of registered smeartakers.