A new study has highlighted the importance of screening for cervical cancer.
Almost 2,000 lives are saved every year in the UK by the cervical screening programme, and the study suggests hundreds more could be saved if all women attended their screening appointments.
The research by Queen Mary University of London found that screening prevents 70 per cent of deaths from cervical cancer. But, the study’s authors say more than a million women are still putting their lives at risk by not attending screenings.
If all women aged 25 to 64 regularly attended screening, the figure for lives saved could jump to 83 per cent it claims.
Most of the extra lives that would be saved are in the 50 to 64-year-old age group.
Around 800 women die each year from cervical cancer in the UK.
The study predicts that a further 1,827 women would die if there were no screening, and that if all eligible women were screened 347 more lives could be saved.
Welcoming the study, our head GP, Dr Najma Hussain said: “Once again we are seeing just how important cervical screening is for women. It is the only way to diagnose cervical cancer early – and early diagnosis really does save lives.”
Despite the success of the screening programme, the number of women coming forward for tests is falling.
There was a surge in women attending screening following the death of reality TV star Jade Goody in 2009. But, the Jade-effect is wearing off and less women are now attending.
Dr Hussain says that here in Spain we are facing different challenges in ensuring women attend.
“While we don’t have exact figures, there is a very real fear that many expat women in Spain are not attending for cervical screening. This may be because they do not understand what is available under the Spanish health system, or it may be because they do not have public health cover. Whatever the reason, though, by not attending for this simple test they are putting their lives at risk.”
We offer cervical screening at our clinics in Benijofar and Alfaz del Pi. Any woman can attend, it is not only for registered patients.
To find out more or to book an appointment for a smear, simply call us on 966 860 258.
The test is very quick and easy and it could just save your life.
Watch the video below to learn how cervical cancer screening really does save lives…