Milton Keynes falls below national target for uptake of cervical screening

Monday 21 January 2019


Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2019

During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (21st -27th January 2019), Public Health and MKC are encouraging all eligible women to get screened to detect cervical cancer at an early stage.

There are two major ways in which the risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced, one of them is vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV) and the other one is cervical screening.

  • Cervical screening saves around 4,500 lives each year in the UK
  • Each day in the UK, around 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 2 lose their lives
  • 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented through screening (smear tests)

Cllr Hannah O’Neill said: “In Milton Keynes the most recent data shows Cervical Screening uptake is 69.6% among women aged 25-49 years and 76.3% among women aged 50-64 years. Both of these rates are well below the national target of 80%.  Continuous decline in uptake of cervical screening, especially in younger women, remains an issue both locally and nationally.”

Director of Public Health Muriel Scott highlighted that: “Cervical cancer is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening and HPV vaccination. Screening allows for the detection of cervical cancer at an early stage. Screening uptake is at a 21 year low and it is important that we use every opportunity to encourage women to accept their invitation when they receive it.”

Regular cervical screening is the best way to identify abnormal changes. Around 1-in-20 women have an abnormal result after a cervical screening.  If not treated, these changes could develop into cancer in the future. [1]

Screening remains one of the best methods of early diagnosis.  Ring your GP surgery confirming when the screening appointment is due.  Also, contact your GP if you think you may have missed your test.

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