Bradford women urged not to ignore cervical screenings

Public Health Consultants in Bradford are encouraging more women to go for their cervical screenings as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (19-25 January 2014).

Over 40% of women aged 25 to 49 in the city of Bradford and around a quarter of women elsewhere in the district haven’t had a cervical screening within the last three and a half years.

Around 20% of women in the Bradford district aged 50 and over haven’t had a cervical screening in the last five and a half years and a Cancer Research UK study stated women in this age group who failed to attend were six times more likely to end up with cervical cancer.

Although the cancer rate has fallen significantly since improvements in the national NHS screening programme in the late 1980s, incidence rates for some age groups have risen in recent years.

Shirley Brierley, Consultant in Public Health for Bradford Council, said:

“It’s very important younger women eligible for the screenings attend. Those aged 25 to 34 are most likely to be unsure whether they need to attend.

“Yet one of the largest spikes in incidence rates for cervical cancer is women in their early thirties. Cervical cancer is unusual because rates don’t just increase with age.”
 
“Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which can prevent the disease before it gets started.”

“Support from friends and family is also important particularly for going to a screening for the first time. Talking about the test does reassure people and encourage more people to go.

“Screening isn’t used to investigate cervical symptoms. If you have any unusual symptoms, such as bleeding after sex or between periods, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.”

In the UK, around 20% of women aged between 25 and 64 invited to be screened currently don’t get the test done and around 750 women die of cervical cancer in England each year.
For more information please contact Thomas Atcheson on 01274 432020 or email thomas.atcheson@bradford.gov.uk