Cervical Cancer Screening & Prevention

In England and Wales between 2000 and 3000 women die every year from cervical cancer. Its a fact many people try hard not to think about: postponing smear tests, and wondering about whether to have their daughters vaccinated against it or not

Now this fact has been brought into sharp focus for everyone by the events engulfing Jade Goody and her young family. At Private GP Services we are seeing a surge in requests for smear tests and enquiries about cervical cancer vaccine. Perhaps it is an issue concerning you or people you love......if so , read on.

Q. Surely the NHS provides smear tests?

A. The NHS smear test programme starts at age 25 and smear tests are offered every 5 years after this. Jade Goody was only 27.

Q. Is this the same in every country

A. No, in the USA and many Eurpean countries a smear is usually offered once a year.

Q. What causes cervical cancer anyway?

A. Cervical cancer is almost all caused by subtypes of the HPV virus ( human papilloma virus). This virus is sexually transmitted and many people carry it, men and women. You can catch it from a partner at any stage in life. In most women the virus causes no problems but in some it can cause cancerous changes years or even decades later. Smokers seem to be at higher risk of developing cancerous changes.

Q. So how would I know if I have this virus?

A. A simple test, much like a smear test, can be done at Private GP Services to find out whether you are carrying the 4 high risk types of this HPV virus. The cost of this, for the appointment £70 and the lab test is £54 . If you are carrying any one of these viruses we would definitely recommend a smear test once a year. If you are all clear, and not in a stable relationship, you should consider vaccination against cervical cancer. A full course of 3 Gardasil injections at Private GP Services costs £400: it could save your life.

Q. What if I decide I want a smear every year to be on the safe side?

A. A smear can be done once a year through Private GP Services. The cost is £70 for the doctor's appointment and £41.50 for the lab fee. We use the up to date liquid technique which gives more reliable results than the older glass slide method. The result of the test will be with you in a week. The cost of a smear test together with a virus test is £165.50.

Q. What about my daughters and the vaccine?

A. At Private GP Services we strongly recommend a course of Gardasil vaccines to immunise both young men and women against this virus. Sexually transmitted diseases involve both sexes and cervical cancer would be controlled more quickly if both sexes were immunised. The vaccine is licensed from the age of 9 and the course should be completed before any sexual activity occurs to give maximum benefit. HPV viruses have recently been proven to cause some head and neck cancers in both men and women.

Appointments to address any or all of these issues can be made on 01245 234134.

Don't just read the headlines and panic: do something about it!
Bookmark and Share