IT only takes a minute for a cervical screening test – but it’s time that could help save your life.
That’s the message from Trafford Council, which has joined forces with NHS Trafford CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), to advise women aged 25-64 to have their cervical smear test.
The council is sending out the message that everyone needs to have regular smear tests, citing women who are over 55, lesbian and bisexual women between 25 and 29 and women from black and minority groups, for example South Asian women.
Women can have their smear done at their GP practice or at a Bridgewater Clinic, where appointments can be made by calling 0161 749 1160 or visiting Bridgewater.nhs.uk/Trafford/sexualhealthservice.
Chairman of the CCG and practising Trafford GP, Dr Kath Sutton, said: “Regular smears are the best way of getting tested to prevent cancer developing later.
"Picking up changes early before they become serious allows effective treatment.
"I would recommend all women to take up their regular smear test.”
Dr Paula Whittaker, public health consultant, said screening detects abnormal cells and can help prevent cervical cancer from ever developing.
She added: “Trafford women are still dying from cervical cancer, yet the number of women being screened is dropping.
"It is the most common cancer in young women aged under 35 years and the eleventh most common cancer among women in the UK. "Evidence suggests that cervical screening saves about 4,500 lives a year in England and prevents up to 3,900 cases of cervical cancer a year in the UK.”
Deputy council leader, Cllr Michael Young said: "This is an important initiative and I would urge women across the borough to book an appointment as soon as possible.”
If you’re aged 25 to 64 years and registered with a GP, you are eligible for a free test.
Those aged 25-49 are screened every three years and women aged between 50-64 years are screened every five years.
If you are unclear when your next smear is due contact your primary care practice.
You can find out more about cervical screening and the symptoms of cervical cancer from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, jostrust.org.uk