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Cervical Cancer

Cervical Screening Awareness is about encouraging our women to stay up to date with your cervical smears and make it a priority. In New Zealand, about 160 women develop cervical cancer each year – and about 50 die from it according to the Ministry of Health.

Cervical cancer develops slowly over time, usually taking many years, when abnormal cells grow on the cervix. Changes to cells in the cervix happen very slowly – so by having regular smears, there is a very high likelihood that any abnormal cells will be found and treated long before they become cancer.

An abnormal smear does not mean cancer. As part of the necessary steps to prevent cancer you may need a repeat smear or a colposcopy appointment for treatment of the abnormal cells.

Your best protection against developing cervical cancer is having regular cervical smear tests. Many women feel embarrassed about having a cervical smear test and in some cultures such as Maori and Pacific culture, the cervix is a sacred area and not easy to talk about.

Regular three-yearly cervical smear tests are recommended for all women aged 20 to 70 who have ever been sexually active. Having regular screenings every three years can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by 90%. Regular testing protects both the health of each woman and the wellbeing of her whanau.

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Cervical Screening Services

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