The aim of this study was to describe the state of the art in cervical cancer screening in Greece by presenting the two regionally organised screening programmes that currently operate in the country. Both programmes were initiated in 1991 and are partly funded by the European Union. The Ormylia screening programme covers the population of Halkidiki (Northern Greece), a predominantly rural area. The second programme covers the regions of Messinia and Ilia (Southern Greece). Both programmes are targeted at women aged 25-64 years of age and a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear test is recommended every 2-3 years. Electoral and municipal registries are used to identify the target population and personal invitations are sent to the eligible women in the screening programme. The Ormylia programme is based at the Centre 'Our Lady Who Loves Mankind', whereas mobile units are used by the Messinia and Ilia programme. Slide reading for the Ormylia programme is performed in the cytology laboratory of Alexandra Hospital in Athens and epidemiological support is provided by the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology (Medical School, University of Athens). A specifically designed database is used for data recording. Over 80% of the target population in the region have already been screened. Communication of results is by means of a personal letter upon a negative result and in person upon a suspicious result. Quality assurance in both programmes is based on the European protocol. These two programmes are the sole organised cervical cancer screening activities in Greece in the absence of a national programme. They employ well-trained personnel, they use modern equipment and have strict quality assurance procedures.