Smear test is a lifesaver
An NHS Lanarkshire consultant is encouraging Rutherglen women who have missed their last smear to contact their GP practice as it could save their life.
The move comes during Cervical Screening Awareness Week which urges more local women to have a smear test. The week, organised by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, runs from June 12.
It throws a spotlight on the importance of cervical screening, commonly known as a smear test. Public health consultant Dr Jennifer Darnborough is worried that not enough women are going for the potentially life-saving smear test.
She said:“Cervical screening works really well and by picking up changes before symptoms develop and treating them. Smear testing prevents around eight out of 10 cervical cancers from developing in the first place. It is thought to save around 5000 lives a year in the UK. Cervical cancer most commonly affects women in their 30s and 40s but it can affect women of any age, so older women should still take part when invited.
“Women aged between 25 and 64 receive a cervical screening invite every three to five years. But less than 80 per cent of them have taken up the offer in Lanarkshire in the past five years.
“We need more women to have screening to prevent more cases of cervical cancer and reduce deaths.
“The test only takes a few minutes and will be carried out by an experienced female smear taker who does this testing all the time.”