Smear test is a life­saver

Rutherglen Reformer - - Intimations - Edel Ke­nealy

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.”

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