●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). JUNE 15 to 21 was Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, an annual campaign which aims to highlight the importance of cervical screening and how attending what used to be called a smear test can help to prevent cervical cancer.
The smear is usually carried out by a practice nurse and takes just a few minutes.
In the UK, 22 per cent of women still do not attend their cervical screening when invited, which is very worrying, as early stage cervical cancers don’t usually have symptoms and are generally detected through screening.
Indeed, 11,654 eligible women in Eastern Cheshire have not been screened and uptake in Macclesfield is generally lower than in other areas of eastern Cheshire – below the 80pc coverage target.
Women who do not take up screening invitations are putting their lives at risk, as screening reduces the chance of cervical cancer by around 75pc.
Women aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years, while women aged 50 to 64 are offered screening every five years.
Women over 65 do not tend to be offered
●● Dr Paul Bowen