Together we will beat cancer


Smear test

7 Feb 2018 21:57

I was wondering if anyone could help.

My mother passed away back in 2004 when I was only 10 years old. She was only 30 and passed away from cervical cancer. I am now 23 and I would like to know if there is any way of me getting a smear test under 25 as I know you need to be 25 to have one?

It will put my mind to rest as I really do not want this to happen to me.

Thank you!x

Re: Smear test

9 Feb 2018 11:28 in response to Jodielouise1994

Hi Jodielouise1994

Thank you for posting on our forum. I am sorry to read about your mum.

I can appreciate your worry and why you would want to have a smear test at your age. But it is unlikely that you will be able to have one taken on the NHS until you reach the screening age, unless you go private. Let me explain a little more about why this is the case.

I’m not sure what you know about the cervical screening programme (smear test), but it’s purpose is to check and detect abnormal changes on the cells of the cervix. It is done so these abnormal changes can be detected, monitored or treated at an early stage before they develop into cancer in the future. We have some information on our website about abnormal cervical cells here, that you may find useful to read.  Another website, called Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has information on this also.

Doing smears at a younger age than 25 would detect large numbers of women with abnormal cells on their cervix, who would then be treated unnecessarily. This is because it is common for women between the age of 20-25 years to have abnormal cervical cell changes. However, in this age group, over time these are known to spontaneously recover themselves. So, it is understood that these cervical changes are also less likely to persist and this in turn greatly reduces the risk of them developing into cervical cancer.

You may find it useful to read what Jo’s cervical cancer trust and what NHS choices say about smears under the age of 25.

I know from what you have said that you are worried about your risk of developing cervical cancer because of your mum. I wondered if you had been to your doctor (GP) to discuss your concerns about how worried you are about your risk of developing the same cancer. This is because your doctor will be able to assess your cancer risk as they have been given the training and guidance to work this out.

By having a parent diagnosed with cervical cancer your risk will be slightly increased, but no one is risk free from developing cancer. For example, just by being a woman we have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer.

Being at risk doesn’t mean it will happen. As many people who have risk factors don’t go on to develop cancer. And those with no risk factors do develop cancer. So, it is about trying not to focus too much on this, which I know is easier said than done.

I hope your GP helps and this has been of some use. Please do get back to us if you have any more questions or call us on 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Best wishes


Re: Smear test

9 Feb 2018 19:35 in response to CRUK Nurse Georgina
Thank you so much for replying. Really has helped