Bracknell Forest women urged to get checked for cervical cancer

6 June 2014

Cervical cancer screening week begins on Sunday, 8 June, and Bracknell Forest women aged 25 to 64 are being encouraged to take up their invitations.

Every year 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. However, the disease can be prevented by screening.

Dr Anant Sachdev, a GP in Bracknell Forest, said: “Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women's test results show that everything is normal, but for about one in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes, which could then lead to cancer. But why wait for this to happen? Prevent cancer - this is the best way.”

Each year, up to 5,000 lives are saved nationally as a result of cervical screening tests. In Bracknell Forest, 82 per cent of women were screened between 2012 and 2013, which is higher than the national target of 80 per cent, but more women in the borough are being urged to go for screening.

Women aged 25 to 34 and 60 to 64 are being specially targeted after research revealed their uptake is amongst the lowest of those eligible in the UK.

Women with learning disabilities, mental health problems, and women from Black and Minority Ethnic groups are also being urged to go for screening because research has shown that they are less likely to take up invitations.

Dr Lisa McNally, consultant in public health at Bracknell Forest Council said: “I would encourage all those eligible for a cervical screen to take up their invitation. If you haven’t taken up your invitation in the past then it’s not too late to contact your GP who will arrange for you to have the test.”

Cllr Dale Birch, Bracknell Forest executive member for adult services, health and housing, said: “The council is committed to supporting all ways of improving the health of residents and I strongly recommend that all eligible women take advantage of screening as it has proved so valuable in saving the lives of so many women.”

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