Cervical health screening is testing to check the wellbeing of your cervix.
Cancer of the cervix is the second commonest cancer in women. Screening for abnormal cells is imperative because the cause of cancer of the cervix is a virus. At our clinic, we can identify whether you have any abnormal cells and test for the presence of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA, as well as testing for Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and bacterial vaginal infections.
We offer anti-viral treatment for HPV, as well as guidance and support. If you’re thinking about cervical health, Breakspear Medical offers:
Complete Cervical Screens
We offer a comprehensive cervical screening at our clinic for the price of £258 * and the results will be available to you in less than 3 weeks.
At-home HPV Testing Kit (UK residents only)
We also offer a discreet, easy to use At-home HPV Testing Kit, which is a basic screen that will show whether you have HPV DNA starting at £45*. The results will be returned within 2 weeks.
Facts about cervical health screening
- Cervical health screening is testing to check the wellbeing of your cervix. Your cervix is the narrow neck-like passage forming the lower end of the womb.
- According to the National Health Service (NHS), tests in 1 in 10 women show changes in the cells of the cervix, which may be caused by many things. Fortunately most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer.
- Cervical cancer is not limited to any particular age group. National Statistics show that the highest number of cases occur in the 15-39 age group but cases also occur in the 80-99 age range.
- Women who are no longer sexually active should continue to be screened for cervical cancer. Regular cervical screens can save your life.
- According to the NHS website, women are invited to be screened from the age of 25. This leaves young women (teens to age 24) without access to cervical screens to test early for cell changes, which could lead to cancer.
- Women of all ages who have been sexually active at any time in their life should be regularly tested for human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV causes cervical cell changes and is sexually transmitted.
Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages. If you have symptoms, the most common is unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur after sex, in-between periods or after menopause.
Identifying the cause
Breakspear Medical offers comprehensive cervical screens which look for any changes and HPV DNA, as well as testing for cervical cell changes and HPV DNA, and tests for Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and bacterial vaginal infections. These screens are discreetly performed by a qualified member of our medical team and available to all women 16 years of age and older.
If HPV DNA is present, Breakspear Medical offers a successful anti-viral treatment programme.
NHS cervical screens do not usually look for HPV, which is what often causes cancer; their screens look for abnormal cells which are usually caused by HPV in the first place. Detecting the HPV DNA early and starting an anti-viral treatment programme can prevent abnormal cells development.
Breakspear Medical also offers At-home HPV Testing Kits (to UK residents only), which are discreet and easy to use and as well as testing for abnormal cervical cells, the test will indicate whether HPV DNA is present. If it is present, further tests are available which will show mRNA and HPV DNA genotyping.
The best time for a cervical health screen is usually two weeks after menstruation. With our full cervical screens, we use the most advanced technology to collect cervical cells with the Thin Prep PAP Test, which is liquid-based cytology and may not be available through the NHS.
We also offer a high-profile vaginal swab which will identify all vaginal infections including Candida, trichomonas and others. These swabs may be undertaken independently of a screen if desired.
The test we use involves collecting cervical cells in a similar way to the conventional smear. We use only a disposable plastic speculum, which is incinerated after use. There is no risk of cross infection with our single-use speculum. The procedure should be painless although some patients experience some discomfort. Relaxation exercises can help.
The NHS states that about 1 in 10 of its tests has to be taken again due to a variety of reasons, including insufficient cells being taken in the sample. Since Breakspear Medical started offering screens in 2003, our experienced medical staff have not had a single unsuccessful sample returned.
The sample is placed in a special container with preservative liquid and sent to a leading independent laboratory for analysis. As part of each cervical health screen, we also offer a manual breast examination and can advise on self-examination techniques. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England and Wales. According to Cancer Research UK, in 2010, 49,564 women and 397 men in the UK were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. In that same year, 11,556 women and 77 men died from invasive breast cancer.
At the microbiology laboratory, specially trained cytoscreeners and cytopathologists analyse your cervical sample. In addition to looking for any cervical cell changes, these experts are looking for the HPV DNA, which, if present, is detectable and other abnormalities.
Most NHS screens are looking only for cervical cell changes and do not investigate for the presence of HPV DNA, which if treated early enough, may prevent the development of cervical cancer. The results are swiftly returned to Breakspear Pathology and one of our qualified physicians will then examine the results and advise you accordingly in writing.
If there are infections to deal with, along with prescribing any required medication, we can develop your personalised nutritional programme to achieve and maintain a strong immunity state.
Nutrition is important in helping to improve the production of protective mucous membranes and is an effective treatment for many patients with positive HPV DNA smears. We will provide you with guidance and support throughout the whole programme.
If you would like a copy of our information sheet Cervical screenings and HPV which provides more information about our services, frequently asked questions, more details about HPV or genital warts, you can print your own copy of our pdf from our Reference page.
The first Thursday of every month is set aside specifically for cervical screening appointments. The comprehensive cervical screening, which requires you to attend our clinic, is available for the price of £258*. The at-home kit,which is a basic screen that will show whether you have HPV DNA, starts at £45*.
* Breakspear Medical reserves the right to alter prices without notice – 2016.