Women are routinely invited to have cervical screening tests (also called smear tests). The tests are done to prevent cervical cancer, not to diagnose cancer. During each test some cells are removed from the neck of the womb (cervix), with a plastic brush. The cells are examined under a microscope to look for early changes that, if ignored and not treated, could develop into cancer of the cervix. You are very unlikely to develop cervical cancer if you have regular cervical screening tests at the times advised by your doctor. If the test shows any abnormality, you will have treatment to stop you ever getting cancer of the cervix. So, an abnormal test does not mean you have cancer. It means you should have some treatment to stop you getting cancer.