Cervical Cancer : Many Women Are Not Getting 'Life-Saving' Smear Test

Women are advised to have a cervical screening test, also called smear test. This type of test is done to prevent cervical cancer. Smear tests are pretty simple - a doctor or nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix to be examined for early changes on the cells, and it only takes about five to ten minutes.

Smear Tests Can Detect Abnormalities In The Cervix

A national campaign is launched by a charity in Wales to raise awareness of the importance of smear tests. According to BBC, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust launched this campaign to encourage women get a smear test after figures showed attendance was at a 10-year low. Public Health Wales showed 204,100 - 77.8 percent - of women aged 25-64 years were screened in 2015-16, the lowest since 2006-07.

Gazette Live said that women between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited for regular cervical screening under the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. This is so abnormalities can be detected with the cervix that could, if undetected and untreated, develop into cervical cancer.

If Prevention Is Not Prioritized, More Women Can Get Cervical Cancer

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said one in five women are not receiving the "life-saving test". The charity's chief executive, Robert Music said: "We have one of the best cervical screening programmes in the world saving approximately 5,000 lives every year." He added that smear tests prevent 70 percent of cervical cancers from developing and, if prevention is not prioritized, more women will be facing the physical and psychological cost of cervical cancer, leading to more lost lives.

Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in women below 35 years old, but it is largely preventable through smear tests. Dr Julie Yates, Consultant in Public Health and Screening and Immunisation Lead in the South West said that 95 percent of results will be normal and, of those that are not, the vast majority can be treated very easily and will never develop in to cancer.

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