CHANGES have been made to North East cervical screening tests to improve the service.
From March 26, women with borderline or low-grade cervical abnormalities will be tested for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as part of their routine smear.
It is hoped it will reduce unnecessary repeat procedures and the anxiety that they may create.
Certain types of the HPV strain are known to cause cervical cancer and can put women at greater risk of developing the disease.
The programme routinely invites women aged 25 to 49 for a cervical check every three years and those aged 50 to 64 every five years.
Cervical screening is estimated to save 4,500 lives every year in England.
Anyone who is worried about a specific problem should talk to their GP.