Nottinghamshire women top the national league for cervical screening

The percentage of women screened for cervical cancer in Nottinghamshire is the highest in England for the sixth year running, according to the latest Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report.

During 2011/12, of the 164,409 eligible women aged 25-64 years-old in the NHS Nottinghamshire County area, 134,249 (81.7%) were screened, just over 3% higher than the 78.6% national average. In the NHS Nottingham City area 75.5% of eligible women were screened.

Cervical screening aims to detect abnormalities within cervical cells which could develop into cancer if left untreated. Early detection and treatment can prevent 75% of cervical cancers developing.

Women aged 25-49 are screened every three years and women aged 50-64 are screened every five years.

Since September, testing for the common human papilloma virus (HPV) has become part of the cervical screening programme. This means that women who receive mild or borderline results from their cervical screening procedure automatically have their original sample tested for HPV which, if persistent, can lead to abnormal cells and, potentially, cervical cancer. Linking the tests saves women time and the need for a repeat procedure.

Dr Kate Allen, Consultant in Public Health at NHS Nottinghamshire County said: “It’s great to see Nottinghamshire women leading the way and taking responsibility for their health by attending for regular screening.

“Cervical screening is the most effective way of detecting abnormalities that could lead to cervical cancer. However, there are still some women, particularly those in their 20s and early 30s who do not regularly attend for cervical screening and this is a concern, because screening does save lives.’

“We would encourage every woman who receives an invitation to be screened, not to put it off, but to make an appointment at their GP practice right away.”