HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● 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

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