A cervical smear test is a usually painless procedure used to detect abnormal cells on the cervix. Cells are collected from the cervix using a brush and are sent away to be examined under a microscope. Women are advised to have regular screening, the interval between tests depending on the woman’s age. More frequent tests may be necessary if abnormal cells are detected. Early treatment of some cervical abnormalities helps to prevent the development of cancer of the cervix (see Treating CIN).
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.