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Cervical screening HSE to ask 180 women to take second smear test after samples expire

HPV was found in the samples but the HSE said the risk to women due to the delay is very low.

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The HSE has confirmed 180 women who underwent cervical screening in recent months are being asked to come for a second test because their sample expired before full testing could be completed.

Samples need to be examined within 42 days but this did not happen at the Santry facility.

HPV was found in the samples but the HSE said the risk to women due to the delay is very low.

The expiry happened because of a delay “in our sample processing centre due to Covid-19 restrictions”, said a spokesman.

“These are women in whom HPV was found in the initial screening, and a second test is therefore required.

“It is important to note that cervical cancer is a rare outcome of a HPV infection, and it takes 10-15 years for cervical cancer to develop.”

“ However we are arranging for these women to have a second test within three months of their first and are contacting them and their GPs this week.”

“Many people with HPV (around 6 in 10) have no changes detected on follow up.

“If the follow-up test shows does show that abnormal cells are present in the cervix (around 3 in 10 people), a further test, called a colposcopy, will be needed.

Anyone seeking further information can contact the national Screening Service at 1800 454 555.

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