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Cervical screening saves lives

WOMEN in Tameside and Glossop are being urged to take up smear tests that could save their lives.

Latest figures show that cervical screening rates have fallen across NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from 74.8 per cent in 2013/14 to 73.3 per cent in 2016/17 for women aged 25 to 64. This follows a national trend in fewer women taking up the screening, falling from 74.24 per cent to 72.13 per cent.

A survey by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust showed embarrassment is causing a third of women to delay getting a smear test.

But cervical screening saves 5,000 lives a year nationally. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 and the test can prevent 75 per cent of cervical cancers. A total of 220,000 British women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year.

Undergoing cervical screening can set minds at rest as nine out of ten tests come back normal.

Tameside and Glossop health leaders are urging women not to delay undergoing screening and want to allay any fears.

Dr Mary Ann O’Mara, Macmillan GP, NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, said: “Please don’t let embarrassment stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test. Our nursing colleagues are experts and undertake thousands of smear tests every year, carefully and professionally.”

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/ or Jo’s Cervical Cancer website www.jostrust.org.uk/resourcecentre. They contain information about what to expect during cervical screening.