Screening rates hit ten-year low

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HIGH Peak women aged between 25 and 64 are being urged to get tested for cervical cancer after new figures show screening rates across the country have hit a ten-year low.

Last year, one in six women in Derbyshire failed to take advantage of NHS screening tests, which have reduced cervical cancer cases by 42 per cent since they were first introduced.

Take-up of the national cervical cancer screening programme has been in decline for the past few years, with NHS Derbyshire County saying that 1,000 fewer women have had the test across Derbyshire and Derby over the past three years compared to between 2008 and 2009 when figures surged following the death of Jade Goody from the illness.

Julie Yapp, cancer screening co-ordinator for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “Every day eight women in England are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three are lost to the disease.

“But these precious lives - like Jade’s - could be saved through a simple, five-minute test.”

Women are invited to attend cervical cancer screening appointments every three or five years, depending on which screening age group they fall under.

Between 2010 and 2011 244,300 women aged 25 to 64 were eligible for the test in Derby and Derbyshire - with 201,950 taking up the offer within the last five years.

This compares to 202,930 women in 2008 and 2009, out of a population of 242,300.

The screening test is carried out in GP surgeries and health clinics.

For more information, see www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk.