Thousands of women in Shropshire fail to take cervical cancer test
More than 35,000 women across the county are putting themselves at risk of cervical cancer by not attending routine screenings according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics figures revealed that nationally more than a million women failed to be screened in 2013/14, and incidence of cervical cancer rose amongst women under 35.
In Shropshire, 44,400 25 to 49-year-olds and 27,400 50 to 64-year-olds were eligible for the test, which takes a sample of cells from the cervix and examines them for signs of changes which may indicate signs of diseases including cancer.
But almost a quarter of the younger age group – 10,656 – had not been tested in the past three and a half years and more than a fifth of the older age group – 9,990 – had not been tested in the past five years.
In Telford & Wrekin the percentage of women not being tested was higher.
While there were 28,900 25 to 49-year-olds eligible for the test, which is routinely carried out at GP surgeries, 8,150 woman – 28.2 per cent – has not been tested in last three-and-a-half-years.
And of the 13,200 50 to 64-year-olds eligible for tests, 6,849.3, or 23.7 per cent, not been tested in past five years.
However, all of these figures were down a fraction of a percent from the previous year.
Of those who had been screened, 91.9 per cent in Shropshire and 91 per cent in Telford & Wrekin had a negative result and fewer than five per cent had a borderline change.
Nationally, the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer under 35 in England has risen by 3.98 per cent in one year and 33.1 per cent over 10 years. The increase in incidence follows the poor uptake of screening amongst young women in England with 33.7 per cent of 25 to 29 year olds and 22.3 per cent of 30 to 34 year olds failing to be screened in 2013 to 2014.
In response to these figures, released at the start of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week this week, the Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust charity is asking the public to join #SmearForSmear – a social media campaign which aims to draw attention to the importance of smear tests and in so doing stop the rise in numbers of women diagnosed with the disease.
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