Don’t ignore this ‘life-saving’ test

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GPs are urging all women aged 25 to 64 to take five minutes to undergo something which could save their lives – a cervical screening test.

The message about the importance of cervical screening comes from NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clinicians during National Cervical Screening Week.

The CCG is supporting the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to ensure that 2015 is the year for women to take the positive step and help to stop cervical cancer in its tracks.

It is estimated that the cervical screening programme saves around 4,500 lives in England every year.

Cervical screening is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix - the entrance to the womb.

Research shows that 22 per cent of women in England are not attending a cervical screening and GPs are emphasising the importance.

Health and Social Care Information Centre research has shown that the number of women attending a screening across West Yorkshire has decreased. In Kirklees, 80.2 per cent of women were screened in 2013 compared to 79.6 per cent in 2014.

Dr David Kelly, chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We want to increase the understanding about cervical screening and how vital it is for women to have regular smear tests because these tests really can save lives.

“Women have no need to be embarrassed by the tests. A simple smear test enables women to receive treatment before it is too late, preventing unnecessary deaths. So our message is clear: don’t ignore your smear test.”

GPs are urging women to be aware of the symptoms which may indicate cervical cancer. These include abnormal bleeding, vaginal discharge, discomfort during sex and lower back pain.

Any woman experiencing these symptoms should make an appointment with their GP as soon as possible.