Cervical cancer screening down after peak of Jade effect
The number of women taking up the screening test for cervical cancer has dipped in the past three years, new figures show.
In 2011-12, the uptake for the smear test among women aged 20-60 who had previously been screened was 73 per cent, down from 73.6 per cent in 2010-11 and 73.7 per cent in 2009-10.
The official report into the uptake rate noted that before 2009-10, awareness of the disease was at its height with the diagnosis and death of the Big Brother contestant Jade Goody from the illness.
The number of screens processed in 2011-12 was about 8.9 per cent higher compared to 2007-08, with a total of 409,000 tests processed within the programme.
Cancer Research UK public affairs manager for Scotland Vicky Crichton said: “It’s disappointing to see that fewer women are attending cervical cancer screening in Scotland.
“Cervical screening is an extremely effective way to prevent cervical cancer from developing in the first place.
“It’s estimated that cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives each year in the UK. Since the introduction of screening in the 1980s, rates of cervical cancer have almost halved.”
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