The cervical cancer screening programme:
• If you turn 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 or 60 this year, you will receive an invitation from the screening organisation.
• The screening has advantages and disadvantages. The government provides this screening because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Whether or not to participate is your decision.
• You can participate by making an appointment with the general practice for a smear test.
• The smear test is first examined in the screening laboratory for the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Only if this virus is present, they will also establish immediately whether the smear test contains abnormal cells.
• If you feel very uncomfortable having a smear test performed by your family doctor and therefore do not want to participate, you can request a self-sampling device from the screening organization. You can use this to extract material from your vagina that is tested in the laboratory for HPV human papillomavirus. If HPV is found, you must have a doctor performing a smear test to assess whether there are abnormal cells.
• If you participate in the screening you can get the result that no HPV was found. No HPV in a smear test gives more certainty that there will be no cervical cancer within 10-15 years.
• If HPV is found in the smear test, but no abnormal cells were found, then you will be invited 6 months later for a check-up smear test in general practice.
• If HPV and abnormal cells are found in a smear test, you will be referred to the gynaecologist for further examination.
Information about the screening, its organisation and backgrounds can be found in the following documents:
- Feasibility study for improvements to the population screening for cervical cancer
- Framework for the execution of cervical cancer population screening
- Leaflet Invitation screening for cervical cancer
- Leaflet Result screening for cervical cancer
At this moment, more detailed background information about your invitation and the screening programme and procedures are only available in Dutch.
Cervical Cancer Screening Programme Coordinator
Centre for Population Screening
RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Att. Programme Coordinator Cervical Cancer Screening