Why we conduct this screening?

This cervical screening programme is used to ascertain whether women aged between 30 and 60 years are at risk of cervical cancer. Early detection can prevent cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is caused by a long-term virus infection: the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common and almost everyone will have had HPV at some stage. The body’s immune system usually gets rid of the virus, but sometimes it doesn’t manage to do this. For instance, in women with a weak immune system. If the immune system cannot get rid of the virus, changes can take place in cervical cells. Abnormal cells can change into a precancerous condition of the cervix. This is not yet cancer and can often be treated successfully. This treatment can prevent cancer from developing.
How does the screening work?

Proven effective


818,197 invitations

The number of women who received an invitation in 2017 for the cervical cancer screening program.


426,824 cliënten

The number of women who participated in the cervical cancer screening program in 2017 with a smear (397300 women) or self-sampling kit (29524 women).


9% HPV

The number of kilometers the courier service runs to get the smears at the research location.


700 diagnoses

The average number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

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