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11 December 2012
The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) has recommended that the starting age for cervical screening should be 25 in all UK countries. The recommendation is the result of the re-examination of the evidence for screening women under the age of 25. The UK NSC also advises that screening ends at 64 with 3 to 5 year intervals between tests depending on age.
The recommendation has now been agreed by ministers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland whilst the Wales Government will review the UK NSC’s recommendations and advise the Welsh Health Minister accordingly.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust will continue to focus on cervical cancer prevention and early detection. Two examples include increasing the numbers of women who are eligible to take up their cervical screening invitation as well as encouraging a greater awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer.
Following concerns over screening uptake across the UK the charity has worked to understand the barriers to why so many women are not taking up their invitation. Consequently we are taking steps to encourage eligible women to attend their cervical screening test and reduce their risk of cervical cancer.
For all women we also need to promote a greater awareness of the symptoms for cervical cancer which is why Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, January 20-26 2013 will be focusing on this issue.
Furthermore a guideline was launched by the Department of Health in 2010 because of concerns over the delay in the diagnosis of young women who presented to their GPs with gynaecological symptoms. We therefore need to ensure GP’s are aware of this guideline so that if a patient presents with symptoms of cervical cancer, they are immediately acted on as per the proper pathway.