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About Cervical Screening

Cervical screening is also known as a smear test. The cervical screening (smear) test is not a test for cancer.  It looks for high-risk types of a very common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).

Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by high-risk types of HPV. The virus can cause cell changes over time, which can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated.  Finding cell changes early can prevent cervical cancer from developing.

Find out more about HPV

Regular screening can reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer by 70%.

Cervical cancers which are found early are easier to treat.

Women aged 25-64 will be invited for cervical screening every 5 years.

People who are transgender or non-binary with a cervix may need to have cervical screening.  To find out more, visit information for people who are transgender and non-binary. 


About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb).

There are about 160 cases of cervical cancer found every year in Wales.   It is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35.

Almost all cases are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a very common virus that most people will have at some time during their life.

Find out more about:

Read more information about cervical cancer on NHS UK and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.


Why is cervical screening important?

Taking part in cervical screening when you are invited is something that you can do to look after your health.

Screening is important because it can prevent cervical cancer from developing, or find it at an early stage.


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