Cervical cancer usually develops over many years, often with no symptoms. It can be prevented, however, through screening and early detection. Smear tests are recommended for women between ages 20 and 70 as a means of detecting cervical cells that may develop into cancer
Cervical cancer is caused by some strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common virus that is passed on by sexual contact.
You can help protect yourself against cervical cancer by:
- having the HPV immunisation (when you’re young)
- having regular cervical smears, as an adult, if you’ve ever been sexually active