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Released today, the annual cervical screening statistics in Wales show that uptake is now at 76.1%, having declined from 77.0% last year. It has dropped across every age and Health Board.
Key stats from the report include:
Commenting on the statistics Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said:
“I’m disappointed to see cervical screening attendance in Wales has declined once again and has dropped across every age group. It is now at the lowest level in 12 years. If we don’t act now, we will sadly see more cervical cancer diagnoses and families losing loved ones to the disease. Cervical screening protects against 75% of all cervical cancers from developing so it is a really important test and a huge concern that attendance continues to fall. We know there are many reasons why women don’t attend including physical, cultural, social and literary barriers. We also know that access is a growing factor with more and more women struggling to get appointments.
Wales has made real headway by being the first UK country to introduce HPV primary testing into its cervical screening programme. It’s a much more effective and reliable test which will save lives. However we must not lose focus of the urgent need to increase attendance otherwise fewer numbers will benefit. Health Boards in particular should use the data available to identify who their non-attenders are and develop initiatives to reach them. It is only through local and national action that we will see fewer women affected by this awful disease.”