Cervical Screening Toolkit

Have a good understanding of the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme

Cervical screening is routinely offered every three years to women aged between 25 and 49 and every five years to women aged between 50 and 64. Women on non-routine screening (where screening results have shown changes that require further investigation/follow up) will be invited up to the age of 70.

You can download the invitation letter, a results letter and the leaflet A Smear Test Could Save Your Life which are sent to women's home address. There are various results letters depending on the outcome of the test.

Cervical screening provides a test to pick up any changes in cells of the cervix (neck of the womb). Most changes in the cells are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The body fights several types of HPV infections naturally but 1 in 10 of these infections is harder to get rid of and without being monitored and treated could develop into cervical cancer. So cervical screening continues to be a core part of cervical cancer prevention for all women.

HPV vaccine

In Scotland, all girls in their second year of secondary school (S2) are routinely invited to get the HPV vaccine between 11 and 13 years of age. The vaccine is designed to protect against the two types of HPV that cause 75% of cases of cervical cancer. But it doesn’t protect against all other types, so regular cervical screening is important.

Key facts

  • Six women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week in Scotland
  • Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 25-35 years of age in Scotland
  • Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives in the UK every year
  • Cervical screening prevents 8 out of 10 cervical cancers from developing
  • Eligible women are sent a letter invitation to their home with an information leaflet and asked to make an appointment at their local GP or clinic

Why not take our short quiz to test your knowledge of the Scottish cervical screening programme?

You can download the information in the Have a good understanding of the Scottish cervical screening programme section, and you can also download the full Cervical Screening Toolkit.

More Information about the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme

The public can find more information on the websites listed below:

Professionals can find more information on the websites listed below:

Cervical Screening Uptake: ISD Annual report and summary

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