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A quarter miss smear tests

18 November, 2016

A quarter miss smear tests

More than one in four women invited for cervical cancer screening in England last year failed to attend, says a new report.

Out of about 4.2 million women invited, just over three million attended. 

It is the second consecutive year that screening rates had fallen, the NHS Digital publication says.

Anne Mackie, Public Health England’s director of screening, said: ‘Cervical screening prevents thousands of cancers, so it is important women take up the opportunity to be screened.

‘We are supporting local services to encourage more women to attend screening through clearer information and tailored reminders.

‘We have also asked the independent expert Screening Committee to consider the merits of self-testing for women who are not taking the test.’

This year, the percentage of eligible women (aged 25 to 64) who were recorded as screened adequately within the specified period was 72.7%. 

This compares with 73.5% last year and 75.7% the year previous.

Women in their early 50s had the highest attendance rates, at over 80%. While women in their late 20s had the lowest, at just over 60%.

A total of 9.4% of patients did not attend colposcopy appointments and gave no prior warning.

For more information and to access the full report, click here.

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