NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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1 in 4 Sheffield women not taking up smear tests

1 in 4 Sheffield women not taking up smear tests
22 January 2018

Sheffield GPs are strongly encouraging women to attend their cervical cancer screenings when invited, as part of cervical cancer prevention week (22-28 January).

Cervical screening (smear tests) prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing, yet 1 in 4 women in Sheffield do not attend their cervical screening.

The number of women in Sheffield attending their screening has also gone down this year compared to last year. This is being seen across the country with cervical screening coverage now at a 20 year low in England.

Dr Anthony Gore, Sheffield GP and NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Clinical Director for Cancer, said: “Being screened regularly means that any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.

“Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infections with a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). Around 80% of sexually active adults will be infected with some type of HPV in their lives. The immune system usually clears the virus without requiring any treatment, and many people don’t even realise that they had it.

“While HPV infection is common, cervical cancer is rare. However, don’t leave it to chance, get yourself screened as it could possibly save your life.”

All women aged between 25 and 64 are invited for cervical screenings. Women aged between 25 and 49 are invited for testing every three years, and women aged between 50 and 64 invited every five years.

Dr Gore continued: “The best way to prevent cervical cancer is through regular screening so I would strongly encourage all women to attend their screenings when invited.”


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