Bay of Plenty women are being urged to make sure they are up-to-date with their regular smear tests as part of Cervical Screening Awareness Month.
Bay of Plenty and Lakes Cervical Screening Programme regional coordinator Anneliese Luthard says a cervical smear test usually takes less than 15 minutes and should usually be done every three years.
September marks Cervical Screening Awareness Month.
“It’s a simple procedure that has the proven ability to save lives.
“Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancers and results show that screening every three years can reduce the risk of developing it by up to 90 per cent.”
The cervical smear test is a screening test to find abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. These cell changes are caused by the human papilloma virus.
HPV infection is very common, and most people come into contact with it at some stage of their life.
Changes in the cervix from HPV infection happen slowly.
Anneliese says by having regular smears there is an excellent chance that the abnormal cells will be found and treated before they ever become cancer.
To find out when your next smear is due contact your medical centre.