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Cervical cancer screening

The purpose of cervical cancer screening is to find cell changes before they develop into cancer. With the help of screening, Finland has been able to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by 80%. In Finland, screening is conducted on women aged 30 to 60 every five years. In some municipalities, 25-year-olds and 65-year-olds are also invited to screening.

Every year in Finland, all women aged 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 are invited to cervical cancer screening. In some municipalities, 25-year-olds and/or 65-year-olds also receive an invitation. Participating in the screening is free of charge. 

How can I participate in screening?

The people to be invited to screening are extracted annually from the Population Information System. The screening invitation is sent by letter, with a pre-booked sampling appointment. If the appointment is not convenient for you, you can follow the instructions in the letter to change your appointment online or by calling the phone number in the invitation.

Customers with an order of non-disclosure for personal safety reasons do not receive an invitation automatically. Therefore, we ask these customers to contact the laboratory office to make an appointment for sampling.

What happens in the screening?

During the screening appointment, you will be asked to fill out a medical history form where we ask about the first day of your last menstrual period, possible birth control method or hormone replacement therapy in use, and the date and result of your last smear test. 

Samples are taken from the vagina, the external orifice, and the cervical canal. Sampling is not recommended during menstruation. The use of local treatments (vaginal capsules, etc.) is asked to be paused for the sampling date. Pregnancy does not usually prevent sampling.

After the screening

Normal result

The next screening invitation will be sent in five years.

Low grade changes

In accordance with the recommendations given in the results letter, please make an appointment for a control sample with your own health centre. The invitation to the next screening will also be sent early, in 1–2 years.
(ASC-US, and LSIL if under 30 years of age)

Higher grade changes

You will be referred to the hospital for a colposcopy.
(ASC-H, HSIL, AGC-NOS, AGC-FN, LSIL if over 30 years of age,
recurrent ASC-US)