A third of Scottish women aged 50-70 believe cervical screening to be irrelevant and unnecessary according to the Scottish Cervical Screening Statistics 2011-12. Despite a 41% rise in diagnosis in this age group over the last 10 years the statistics demonstrate a decrease in the women screened, which dropped from 83% to 74% in the last year alone.
It was found that 31% of older women did not consider screening necessary for everyone, rising to 67% amongst those who had never attended screening. Half of the women also explained that the invites for screening, which are sent every 3 years to 20 – 60 year olds, did not explain the tests importance with clarity and lacked age appropriate information. Cervical screening annually saves approximately 5,000 lives in the UK, meaning these women are putting themselves at risk of a cancer which is now largely preventable.
This article was originally published in the SCPN Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 3.
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