Bupa says that almost a third of women (29%) say they have never been for any type of health screening, including cervical screening, which is vital in detecting abnormal, pre-cancerous cells which may lead to cervical cancer.
2900 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. However, it is one of the most preventable cancers, with deaths from the disease having fallen over the last 25 years, precisely because of large numbers of women undergoing cervical screenings. Many women are put off going for a screening owing to a lack of information on what it involves and anxiety about dealing with abnormal results.
Dr Katrina Herren of Bupa advises: "Cervical screening detects pre-cancerous cells which can develop into cervical cancer. Early detection of pre-cancerous cells is vitally important in preventing cervical cancer so if your test does detect these abnormal cells, don't panic. It means that the cells which could develop into the cancer have been detected and can be monitored closely or treated to prevent them developing into cancer."