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In a cell sample (pap smear), cells from the cervix located at the top of the vagina are scraped off. The cells are examined by laboratory personnel to disprove or confirm cell changes that may develop further into cervical cancer. This possible development usually takes many years. Therefore, young women under the age of 25 do not need to take a cell sample. In Norway, the recommendation is to take a cell sample between 25 and 69 years at 3-year intervals.

After the introduction of the cervical program, cases of cervical cancer have been reduced by approx. 70%! This reduction will most likely increase further because girls and young women are vaccinated against a viral infection that can lead to the development of cell changes and cervical cancer.

How is the test?

The test with cell sampling takes only a few minutes and is not painful.

In addition to cell changes, a cell sample also reveals bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Some women will be tested specifically for a viral infection with HPV, and examination intervals in these women will be adjusted.

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