Health bosses at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber are reminding women in the region about the importance of cervical screening (smear test).
Today marks the start of national cervical screening awareness week (10 – 16 June). The campaign is aimed at all women who are eligible for screening, but particularly younger women aged 25 to 29, who are the least likely to respond to screening invitations.
Paul Johnstone, director of public health at NHS North of England, said:
“It’s vitally important that women keep their appointment for their smear test. This simple test really can be a life-saver.
“The test can detect any abnormalities or changes in the cervix which, if left untreated, could lead to cervical cancer. Screening is the most effective way of preventing this cancer from developing.
“More than four million women in the UK are invited to attend a smear test every year. Of those tested, more than 90 per cent receive a normal smear result. We want to do all we can to ensure that every single woman who receives an invitation attends her appointment.
“If you have any symptoms which worry you, such as abnormal bleeding, pain or a discharge you should see your GP as soon as possible, rather than wait for your next screening appointment.”
Every year in the UK, over 2,800 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly 1,000 women will die from the disease. After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Since its launch over 20 years ago, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme has been highly successful, saving an estimated 4,500 lives every year. However, in the Yorkshire and Humber region 20 percent of women still do not attend for screening on a regular basis.
For further information contact:
NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, part of NHS North of England
Notes to editor:
In England, women are invited for cervical screening from the age of 25 and will be regularly invited for a smear test every three years up to the age of 49. Women will then be invited every five years from 50 to 64.