Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

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Bedford Borough is encouraging residents who have received a letter from their GP inviting them to a cervical screening test, to attend their appointment.

Screening helps to detect any pre-cancer changes at an early stage meaning simple treatment can be provided to prevent cancer from developing.

Every day across the country there are nine new diagnoses of cervical cancer and two women who will die from this disease. Cervical screening is estimated to prevent over 1,500 cervical cancer deaths in England every year, yet the most recent data for Bedford Borough show that nearly one in three eligible women do not receive this potentially lifesaving test.

Everyone with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 49 should be screened for the disease every three years, and then every five years for those aged 50 to 64.

Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing at Bedford Borough Council, said: “If you have been invited to a screening, it’s really important to attend your appointment, or if you need to, rearrange for a more convenient time. Cervical Screening saves lives, and is nothing to be worried about, but if you do have concerns, speak to your GP or nurse, they will be able to explain the process and put your mind at rest.”

Dr Sarah Whiteman, GP and Chief Medical Director at NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said: “Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cancer. Cervical cancer often has no symptoms during the early stages of the disease. By screening for risk at an early stage, any abnormal cells can be treated quickly before they potentially develop into cancer. So, please do accept your invite for cervical screening when you get it – it could save your life.”

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

For more information on cervical screening, visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/  or Jo’s Trust www.jostrust.org.uk/

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