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Concern over low smear test attendance figures

Dr Heather Currie Credit: ITV Border

A gynaecologist from Dumfries says that more women from the south of Scotland and Cumbria could die from cervical cancer, unless there's an increase in people attending their screening appointments.

Around one in every four women in Scotland are now missing out on their routine smear tests, with uptake at a ten year low.

"That's very concerning i mean that's the lowest it's been for a long time so we have a big worry that if this rate doesn't increase that we will be picking up more people in the future that have changes that could have been treated at a much earlier stage."

– Dr Heather Currie, Gynaecologist, NHS D&G

Catherine Schlag and Christine Potts say they owe theirs lives to smear tests. The sisters, from Dumfries, have both had laser treatment to remove pre-cancerous cells, which were picked up on their very first smear.

"It was a major shock for me. I was very worried about it and very nervous about the outcome. The whole process of what happened and the actual treatment itself was pretty horrific."

– Catherine Schlag
Catherine Schlag and Christine Potts Credit: ITV Border

Both sisters have been given the all clear, but will continue to be monitored.

The vast majority of smear tests return with negative results, but the tests which pick up abnormal changes can be life-saving, according to Dr Currie.

"It's just so sad that if we see somebody who actually has cancer where we could have picked up changes earlier and done a treatment to prevent the cancer.

"We cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is to have your smear test. It's such a quick procedure and could save your life.'

– Dr Heather Currie, Gynaecologist, NHS D&G

Cervical screening is currently offered to women aged between 25 and 64 and takes place at your local GP surgery.

Body found in river was missing Dumfries man

Police Scotland has confirmed that a body pulled from the River Nith on Saturday is that of Bryan Cowie - a man from Dumfries who had been missing since last Sunday.

The search for Bryan Cowie. Credit: Drew Geddes

Mr Cowie, aged 41, fell into the river near to the rowing club at Greensands, at around 9.00pm on Sunday, February 5th.

Police were called at around 9:30am Saturday (11 February) to reports that a body had been spotted near Kingholm Quay.

The police worked together with Nith Inshore Rescue Team to recover the man's body, and take it to the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

In a short statement on Sunday morning Police Scotland said:

"There would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. Mr Cowie's relatives are aware."


'Cowardly' robbers attack man in own home

Police are appealing for witnesses. Credit: ITV Border

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted and robbed in his own home in Dumfries and Galloway.

At around 1am on Friday 10 February, the 46-year-old man was attacked by two men in his home in Hoddom Court, Ecclefechan.

His 11-year-old son was also in the house at the time.

The man sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, but has now been released.

The suspects are both described as white. One is 5'9" to - 5'10" tall, of stocky build and was wearing a dark coloured jacket.

The second man was slightly taller, of a heavier build and was wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket.

Officers are currently in the process of carrying out door to door enquiries as well as retrieving CCTV from a number of different locations throughout the village with a view of identifying who is responsible for this crime.

This was a cowardly act which was made even worse due to the fact the victim’s 11 year old son was in the house at the time. He was not injured.

Thankfully, incidents such as this are extremely rare in Annandale and Eskdale and we are determined to catch those who are responsible.

– Detective Inspector Scott Young of Dumfries CID

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101.

Snow warning in place overnight across south of Scotland

Credit: Met Office

A yellow warning for snow is in place overnight across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

Sleet and snow showers could lay 3cm to 6cm of snow above 200-metres, with up to 10cm above 300-metres.

Some snow at low level is possible, though these will tend to melt as things warm up during Saturday morning.

Slippery conditions are likely, along with the risk of disruption to transport, especially on higher level routes.

It comes into force at 6.00pm tonight until 10.00am tomorrow.

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