Cases of cancer fall as more are screened
THE number of new cases of cervical cancer has fallen by more than five per cent in the East Midlands in less than five years.
A total of 236 new cases of the disease were diagnosed in the region in 2015, according to the latest NHS data.
That works out at a decrease of 6.7 per cent compared to 2011, when there were 253 diagnoses.
At the same time, the number of women taking up potentially life-saving cervical screening checks has been increasing.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cer- vix, the lower part of the womb.
One way to detect abnormal cell changes in the cervix that could potentially develop into cervical cancer is through cervical screening.
If the screening detects significant abnormalities, women can have treatment to remove them before they become cancerous.
In the East Midlands, the percentage of eligible women screened had increased between 2011 and 2015 from 71.2 per cent to 73.8 per cent.
The NHS send screening invitations every three years to women aged 25 to 49, and every five years to women aged 50 to 64.
Across England, there were 2,517 new cases of cervical cancer in 2015, a stable level compared to five years before when there were 2,511 new cases.
In 2015, 606 women died of cervical cancer, 15 per cent fewer than in 2011 when 781 died.
Since the screening programme was introduced in the 1980s, the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by about 7 per cent each year.
In 2011, 69.4 per cent of eligible women were screened and the percentage increased in 2015 when 70.2 per cent of eligible women were screened.
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 12-13 as part of the NHS Childhood Vaccination Programme to protect them against HPV.