Cervical Cancer Screening (Smears)
What is a Smear Test?
A smear test is used for cervical screening. It is a simple procedure where a doctor or nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix to look for early changes. A smear test can identify cell changes before they become cancer cells. If these cells are not found and treated, they could become cancerous.
Who Should Have a Smear Test?
Every woman aged between 25 and 44 is advised to have a smear test every three years and if aged between 45 and 60 you are advised to have a smear test every 5 years.
Is There A Cost For Smear Tests?
NO – our practice participates in the National Cervical Screening Programme. The programme offers FREE smear tests to women aged 25 – 60 who are eligible for screening.
How Do I Avail Of My FREE Smear Test?
You must register with the National Cervical Screening Programme to avail of your free smear test. To register, visit www.cervicalcheck.ie or phone 1800 454 555. On completion of registration, you will be posted a letter of invitation, which you must present to reception, when you attend for your appointment.
Are You Breast Aware?
Even the healthiest women can get cancer. One in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, but it’s not all bad news. As more women become breast aware, they’re spotting lumps and changes in their breasts much earlier, which increases their chances of a cure. At the same time medical science is making huge strides forward in developing treatments that save lives.
How Do I Check My Breasts?
There is no right or wrong way to check. You simply need to take a few minutes to look at and feel your breasts regulary, so you know what is normal for you. N.B Always check all parts of your breasts, your armpits and up to your collarbone.
What Changes Should I Check For?
Everyone’s breasts look and feel different. For many women it’s normal to have lumpy breasts, or for their breasts to feel tender around their period, or to have one breast larger than the other. That’s why it’s important to know what is normal for you, and to be aware of any changes that are unusual.
What If I Notice A Change?
If you notice a change you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Most breast changes aren’t the result of anything serious but you do need to find out what is causing the change. You can ask to see a female doctor and you can take a friend or relative to the appointment with you. For further information visit www.breastcancer.org or www.cancer.ie.
Breast screening involves a MAMMOGRAM of the breasts, which can detect early signs of cancer before it can be seen or felt. The National Breast Screening Programme, began offering FREE mammography to women aged 50-64 in 2000. The programme invites eligible women, on an area by area basis, for screening every two years. Women can check that they are on the register by calling FREEPHONE 1800 45 45 55 We would encourage all women invited for screening to attend their appointment. Visit www.breastcheck.ie