Take test and save your life

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HIGH PEAK women are being urged to take advantage of life-saving smear tests ahead of this week’s European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in women under 35. But going for a routine smear test can make all the difference – helping medical staff spot potentially cancerous cells growing on the cervix, or neck of the womb, before it’s too late.

Now NHS Derbyshire County is urging all women aged between 25 and 64 to think twice before they dismiss screening appointment letters, as early detection through screening, followed by treatment, can prevent up to 75 per cent of these cells turning into cancer.

Julie Yapp, cancer screening coordinator for the trust, said: “Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, which if caught early, is easily treated. Going for a smear test is a quick, simple way to test for pre-cancerous cells before they develop, so we’d urge any woman who has had her reminder letter to put aside any worry or embarrassment and get checked out as soon as possible. It could make all the difference.”

NHS Derbyshire County sends reminder letters about cervical cancer screening every three years for women in the 25 to 49 age group and every five years for women in the 50 to 64 age group.

Since the NHS cervical cancer screening programme was first introduced, the number of cases of cervical cancer has reduced by 42 per cent which is around 1,300 lives saved a year. In Derbyshire eight out of ten women took up their invitation for cervical cancer screening last year.

Further information about the NHS cervical cancer screening programme can be found at www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/.