Smear Test - When Is Yours?

My Weekly|January 12, 2019

Smear Test - When Is Yours?

My Weekly’s favourite GP from TV and radio writes for you

Dr Sarah Jarvis

Lots of patients tell me that getting old is not for the faint-hearted. I usually respond that I’d rather be any age than a teenager.

They have a point – I spend much of my time explaining to patients that their latest condition gets more common with age. But cervical cancer is slightly different, and the good news is that there does come a time when the risk drops.

Make no mistake – cervical cancer is a killer. But in many other respects it’s different to other cancers. Firstly, it’s almost invariably caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. There are many strains and only a few lead to cancer; others cause genital warts. Pretty much any woman who’s ever had sex, even if only with her husband, is at risk of HPV.

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January 12, 2019