Human Papilloma Virus, Cervical Smears and Cervical Cancer

On Monday 4th August, Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and Dr Mohammed Ali Abdool (FY2 doctor) invited Dr Kyle Gilmour (consultant gynaecologist, clinical director and gynaecological cancer lead at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) to come and talk to patients and staff about Human Papilloma Virus, cervical smears and cervical cancer. The recent publicity around the diagnosis, treatment and subsequent death of Jade Goody as well as the recent introduction of a vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus which is thought to reduce the risk of cervical cancer has created a great deal of awareness of the condition and what we are trying to do to prevent the condition.

Interesting facts
The Human Papilloma Virus
The cancer
The vaccine
Your body and the smear
How to take a smear
What happens when you have an abnormal smear
Different types of smear results
Who gets referred for colposcopy?
What is colposcopy?
Using acetic acid for abnormal cells
Punch Biopsy or “see and treat” loop biopsy
Follow-up after treatment
Does severely abnormal smears mean cancer?
If you have a loop biopsy, are you more likely to have a miscarriage?
Do you think the change in policy for screening programme to start at age 25 will increase the number of undetected cancers in those aged less than 25?
Different start dates for smears in the countries.
Changes in cervix in ladies under 25
If you have sex at 12. are you at a greater risk of getting cervical cancer by the time you reach 25
If you are 22 and in England
 and want a smear then can you have one?
Why did the other home countries choose to go back to doing smears from 20 onwards?
Will the vaccine help against cervical cancer?
Smears help to identify pre-cancer
Smears are a very poor way of diagnosing cervical cancer
If you have genital warts are you more likely to get cervical cancer?
Do you think boys should be having the HPV vaccine?
HPV 16 & 18 does not affect boys
We are vaccinating 12 year old girls now but we will see the benefits in 20 years
Girls who have the vaccine MUST still have regular smears
Other HPV subtypes may also cause cervical cancer that we are not aware of
Once you have come into contact with HPV, the vaccine does not work which is why it is important to have the vaccine before girls become sexually active
If you are 25 and not sexually active do you still need smears?
Watch on screen how easy it is to learn about your health
How does the practice website,, support patients to understand cervical smears and cancer better ?
See how to access the test patient GP electronic health record
Learn how to check the result of your last smear, how to see consultations that you have had with your doctor or nurse in the practice
Learn how to see trusted websites about the condition you suffer with eg cervical cancer which you can see directly from your GP electronic health record without having to do any searches
Learn how NHS Choices informs you about cervical cancer
Learn how to navigate Map of Medicine to learn about the management of cervical cancer
Learn how to use HealthSpace to monitor your weight, store notes about your health that you can ask later and store appointments in the calender to send automatic e-mail reminders about appointments you may have
PLEASE NOTE: Map of Medicine is no longer available

Further information about Cervical Cancer is available here from NHS Choices