The UK National Screening Committee (NSC) has published recommendations to change the age that women receive their first invitation for cervical screening from 20 to 25.
This recommendation follows from the observation that cervical cancer in women under the age of 25 is rare, and the majority of abnormalities picked up by screening in this age group will clear up of their own accord. The introduction of HPV vaccination in 2008 has also changed risk for younger women, offering them immunity to the virus that causes around seven in 10 cases of cervical cancer.
The committee also advises that women over 50, who are routinely called for screening, should be invited every five years, rather than every three years and that the upper age of screening should be extended to 64 years of age.
This article was originally published in the SCPN Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 1.
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