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Former Love Islander Amy Hart has urged women to get their pap smears following a cervical biopsy.
The reality star, who appeared on season five of the ITV series, took to her Instagram stories to update her followers on the colposcopy she had in the hospital, which was carried out after a cervical screening found changes to the cells in her cervix.
She is now encouraging women to get their cervical smear tests booked as soon as possible so that any changes to cervical cells and risk of cervical cancer are detected and assessed as early as possible. Watch Amy’s message here:
According to NHS England, a smear test is carried out to check the health of the cervix, which is the opening to the uterus from the vagina.
A pap smear does not test for cancer, but it can help prevent cancer.
All people with a cervix aged 25-64 will be invited on behalf of the NHS via letter to book a smear test.
During the appointment, a tube-shaped tool called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to open the vaginal walls and see the cervix.
A soft brush is then inserted through the speculum to the cervix, where the brush is rotated a few times to collect a small sample of cells, before being sent off to a lab.
The test itself takes less than five minutes, and you can stop the test whenever you want to.
This sample is then checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called 'high risk' types of HPV, which Amy was diagnosed with.
If these types of HPV are found, then the sample is checked for any changes to the cells in the cervix, which can be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
Patients may be referred for a colposcopy, which allows medical experts to take a closer look at the cervix, and they can also take a biopsy if needed.
The results will then be available a few weeks after the appointment, and will usually be sent via letter, which will explain what needs to happen next.
If those types of HPV are not present during the smear, then no further tests are needed.
NHS England is urging people to contact their GP surgery online or by phone if they think they are due to have cervical screening but have not been sent an invitation.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.
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