Reduce your risk of cervical cancer by getting screened

HEALTH professionals in West Lancashire are supporting this Cervical Screening Awareness Week (14-20 June) by encouraging people to get screened when invited.

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging those aged 25 to 64 to have cervical screening to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer. The test detects human papillomavirus (HPV) and signs of early abnormal cells.

Dr Jack Kinsey, a local GP and GP clinical lead for cancer at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “Cervical cancer affects around 3,000 people in the UK every year.

“Being screened significantly reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer so it’s really important to make an appointment when invited.

“Spotting and treating signs of cervical cancer at an early stage is key to successful treatment, so being screened is not only very important, it saves lives.”

Five million are invited for cervical cancer screening each year in the UK but many do not attend. The best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer is by attending cervical screening when invited.

People who are registered at a local GP practice will receive a screening invitation letter in the post with information about how to book their appointment.

Dr Kinsey continues: “Those aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years and 50 to 64-year-olds are every five years. When it’s time for your next screening, you should be sent a letter inviting you to make an appointment.

“It’s quick, simple and getting screened regularly helps find HPV early and abnormal cell changes before they become cancerous.

“Contact your GP if you think you may be overdue a test. Screening appointments can now be made with practice nurses and if it’s more convenient you can also book to have your screening with the seven-day GP service that operates evenings and weekends.

“These tests are one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the risk of cervical cancer.”

For more information on cervical cancer and what the screening test involves, please visit:

To find out more about what to expect at your cervical screening appointment, watch this video: