Cervical smears and colposcopy (MERGED)
All women in the UK are invited to enter the cervical cancer screening program from the age of 25. This prevents many women from developing cervical cancer by picking up abnormalities in the skin cells which, if untreated, could go on to turn into cancerous growths. Cancer of the cervix is therefore preventable in most cases by having a smear test and if recommended, a colposcopy. Colposcopy simply means looking at the cervix with a colposcope (a magnifying, telescopic device). Most women who have an abnormal smear will not require treatment and can be reassured and an appropriate follow-up plan made.