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Doctor David.

Q I HAVE had two cervical smears in the last year, both of which have been 'unsatisfactory'. When I spoke to my GP, she assured me there was nothing to worry about but that I needed a further smear just in case.

I am becoming quite anxious as to the implications of this. What do you advise?

W.R., Brierley Hill

AA CERVICAL smear should be performed at least once every three years to detect early changes, which could result in cancer of the cervix if not treated.

However, sometimes the sample does not contain enough cells to perform a proper analysis. This is reported as unsatisfactory but does not mean there is an abnormality. You should take your GP's advice and have a further smear.

QFOR the last few months whenever I eat, I get a swelling under my chin. It subsides after an hour or so but it is quite uncomfortable and I have also noticed an unpleasant taste in my mouth. What could be the problem?

N.T., Rugeley

ATHE combination of swelling under the chin whilst eating and an unpleasant taste in your mouth suggests there is a problem with one of your salivary glands.

It may be due to a salivary stone causing a blockage or an infection. There are other less common causes but you should see your dentist as soon as possible rather than your doctor.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2001
Words:233
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