Simon Hill, Consultant Gynaecologist, is calling on women to take part in regular screening as part of this week’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Mr Hill, Associate Medical Director for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This week aims to remind people that cervical cancer can kill but regular screening helps save thousands of lives every year.
“As with all cancers, the earlier a problem is spotted, the better the patient’s outcome. All women should take up their invitation and attend screening. ”
Women in England and Wales aged between 25 and 64 are invited to cervical screening, also known as a smear test, every three to five years.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. Screening prevents cancer by detecting early abnormalities in the cervix, so they can be treated. If these abnormalities are left untreated they can lead to cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb). It is thought on average that cervical screening helps save the lives of 4,500 women in England every year.
About 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK and 900 of these will die every year. It is the second most common cancer in women aged 35 and under after breast cancer. Despite this, more than 20% of women invited for screening do not attend.