1. ITV Report

Numbers attending cervical screening hits lowest level in twelve years

Credit: PA

The number of women attending cervical screening in Wales has hit its lowest level in twelve years.

Figures show a drop in attendance across all Welsh health boards, with the biggest decline coming from women aged between 25 - 29.

Uptake is now at 76.1%, having declined from 77.0% last year.

I'm disappointed to see cervical screening attendance in Wales has declined once again and has dropped across every age group.

It is now at the lowest level in 12 years. If we don't act now, we will sadly see more cervical cancer diagnoses and families losing loved ones to the disease.

Cervical screening protects against 75% of all cervical cancers from developing so it is a really important test and a huge concern that attendance continues to fall.

We know there are many reasons why women don't attend including physical, cultural, social and literary barriers.

– Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust
  • What is a cervical smear test?

A cervical screen test is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.

Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer.

Most women's test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

According to the NHS, most of these changes won't lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own.

But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can't become cancerous.

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