The term "cervical" has two meanings in medicine.

The first means about the cervix - such is in a cervical smear. The cervix is the connection between the vagina and uterus. It is prone to infection by human papilloma virus (HPV) in sexually active females. This can become activated by certain factors, such as smoking, which can make the cells turn malignant.

Therefore a cervical smear is performed to check whether there is any risk of a cervical cancer developing.

The second meaning of cervical means about the neck - such as cervical collar or cervical vertebrae.

A cervical collar is a collar that is placed around the neck to protect it, following an accident. People who have had an accident often put in a cervical collar as soon as paramedics arrive, and this is usually not removed until cervical x-rays (x-rays of the neck) have shown there is no broken neck (cervical fracture) in the accident and emergency department.

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