Stop cancer before it starts – book a cervical screening

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Stop cancer before it starts – book a cervical screening

Too many women in Buckinghamshire are missing their cervical cancer screening – and risk their lives by being diagnosed with the disease too late.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, but is very preventable. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts.

NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is joining the nationwide Public Health England campaign this month, to encourage women not to ignore their cervical screening invite letter. If you have missed your last screening, please book an appointment with your GP practice now.

Every day seven women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer and two will lose their lives to the disease.

Uptake of cervical screening has fallen across all ages over recent years, putting more women at risk. In particular, women aged 25-34 are least likely to attend their screening of any age group.

Cancer charity surveys suggest embarrassment and a lack of understanding of the causes of cervical cancer may be behind these falling numbers.

Dr Raj Thakkar, Clinical Commissioning Director for Planned Care, said: “Too many women are missing out on their cervical screening test, particularly women aged 25 – 34. Unfortunately this puts some of them at needless risk of developing cervical cancer. Having this quick, simple test is essential – it could save your life and help us stop cancer before it starts.

“The early warning signs of cervical cancer are very hard to detect yourself, so it is vital that women don’t wait until they notice symptoms before booking their screening. The test is usually carried out by a practice nurse. It is quick, simple and really is nothing to worry about. The test comes back normal 95% of the time and most abnormal cases can be treated easily and will never develop into cancer if they are picked up in time.”

If you have received an invitation for screening, have missed your smear or are due to be screened, please get in touch with your GP surgery to arrange an appointment – it may well save your life.

For more information about cervical cancer screening, visit NHS Choices or the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust charity