What is a cervical screening test?
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but rather a test that looks for abnormal cells in the cervix. If those abnormal cells are left untreated, they can develop into cancer.
A cervical screening test (previously called a Pap test or Pap smear) is a sample of cells taken from the cervix or vagina with a small brush and spatula and is typically not painful. The sample is sent to a laboratory, where it is analyzed under a microscope for abnormal cells that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. The sample may also be tested for HPV.