Cervical cancer cases on rise
THE number of new cervical cancer cases has risen by more than 6% in London in less than five years, according to NHS data.
A total of 313 new cases of the potentially fatal disease were diagnosed in the region in 2015 in comparison to 295 diagnoses in 2011.
This works out as an increase of 6.1% in a four-year period, according to the latest NHS data revealed on Friday October 6.
At the same time, the number of women taking up potentially lifesaving cervical screenings has been decreasing.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix, the lower part of the womb.
One way to detect abnormal cell changes in the cervix that could potentially develop into cancer is through a cervical screening
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In London, the percentage of eligible women screened has decreased between 2011 and 2015 from 65.9% to 63.7%.
Screening invitations are sent by the NHS every three years to women aged between 25 and 49 and every five years to women aged between 50 and 64.
There were 2,517 new cases of cervical cancer across England in 2015, compared to 2,511 five years before.
In 2015, 606 women died of cervical cancer nationally, 15% fewer than in 2011 when 781 died.
Since the screening programme was introduced in the 1980s, cervical cancer cases have decreased by about 7% each year.
In 2011, 69.4% of eligible women were screened and the percentage increased to 70.2% in 2015 in England.
According to the NHS, it is estimated that up to 5,000 cases of cervical cancer are prevented each year in the UK because of cervical screening.
Abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be caused by certain high-risk types of human papilloma virus (HPV).
A vaccination is also offered to girls aged 12 to 13 as part of the NHS Childhood Vaccination Programme to protect them against HPV.