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Cervical cancer test fears

The number of women taking a smear test to detect early signs of cervical cancer has declined, a charity has warned.

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Cervical cancer: Facts and figures

  • Every year in the UK, over 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly 1,000 women will die from the disease.
  • Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
  • Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary.
  • Cervical cancer, in 99.7% of cases, is caused by persistent infection with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Around 4 out of 5 people (80%) will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives.
  • However, for the majority of women this will not result in cervical cancer.
  • Cervical cancer is rare while HPV infection is common.
  • Cervical screening is the process of taking a sample of cells from your cervix which are then examined to detect abnormalities that might develop into cancer in the future.

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