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Spotting cancer early saves lives

Cervical cancer screening

Pre-cancerous cell changes do not have any symptoms. So it is very important to have regular cervical screening (also known as smear tests) as part of the UK screening programme.

Cervical screening is open to women aged 25 to 64, and is a very effective way of preventing cancer by finding abnormal cell changes in the neck of the womb (cervix). These changes could lead to cancer if left untreated. They are usually easily treated in clinic which avoids cancer developing.

Research shows that cervical screening prevents at least 5,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK. Since cervical screening started in the 1980s in Great Britain, rates of cervical cancer have almost halved. Yet many women do not attend their smear test (cervical screening). Of the 1.03 million women eligible for screening in our region (north central and east London), only 201,300 took up the opportunity last year – one in five women.

To have a screening test, you can either book at your GP surgery or at your local sexual health clinic. Find it here: