A Calderdale doctor is urging all women to attend their cervical smear test when invited, as it could save lives.
All women aged between 25 and 64 are routinely invited for at their registered GP practice, but in the last year only 76% of women attended their appointment.
Dr Nigel Taylor, a GP and Calderdale CCG’s Cancer Lead, said: “Around one-in-four women in Calderdale don’t make an appointment for cervical screening when invited to, and it’s vitally important that all women who’re eligible have it.
“Screening identifies changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer if left untreated, and given that in many cases there aren’t any symptoms in the early stages, it’s vitally important that women are screened.”
“Around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year, and I really want to encourage all eligible women to have a smear test regularly to stay healthy.
Since the screening programme was introduced in the 1980s, the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by around 7% each year, so it’s very important that women attend all of their cervical screening appointments.”
The symptoms of cervical cancer aren’t always obvious, and it may not cause any symptoms at all until it’s reached an advanced stage.
Some symptoms of cervical cancer may include:
- Vaginal bleeding, occurring after sex.
- Bleeding at any other time, other than your expected monthly period.
- Pain and discomfort during sex
- An unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge.
If you’ve received an invitation for a cervical screening, please book an appointment with your practice nurse for this very simple and quick test.
For more information about cervical cancer and the NHS Cervical Screening Programme visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-cervix