Women in NI encouraged to attend life-saving cervical screening when invited

Women are being reminded of the importance of screening for cervical cancer.

Statistics released from the Public Health Agency show that between 2013 and 2017, there was an average of 83 women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in Northern Ireland.

This week marks cervical cancer prevention week, and health care workers say a routine smear test can be crucial in catching the disease in its early stages.

Between 2013-2017 there were around 21 deaths from cervical cancer each year in Northern Ireland. It is therefore important for women to accept their invitation for the screening test – it could save your life.

Dr Damien Bennett, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA

He continued and said: “Cervical screening aims to prevent cervical cancer from developing. It’s often called a ‘smear test’ and checks the cells from your cervix, the lower part of the womb.

“It’s designed to pick up any changes to these so that they can be monitored or treated. Without treatment the changes can sometimes develop into cervical cancer.”

In Northern Ireland, screening is offered to women aged 25–64. This is the age group where screening is of most benefit.

You will be automatically invited every three years if you are aged 25–49, and every five years if you are 50–64.

If you haven’t received your invitation, or if you have any cause for concern, you should talk to your GP.

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