Cervical Screening Awareness Week ran from 22 - 28 January 2017 and consultant gynaecologist Ms Shirin Irani, of Spire Parkway Hospital urged women in the region to make sure they were up to date with their smear tests.
Ms Irani, who practices at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull said: “Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. The signs that it may develop can be often be spotted early and it can be treated before it even fully starts.
“Around 750 women in the UK die of cervical cancer every year, yet the figures show that many of those who develop the disease have not been screened regularly. The single biggest risk factor for developing cervical cancer is not being regularly screened, yet it is thought that as many as one million women a year are missing out."
Women aged 25 to 49 are invited to attend cervical screening, or smear tests, every three years; those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years. The screening can detect abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells in the cervix in order to prevent cervical cancer.
Ms Irani said: “It is important to get the message across that cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but instead allows for detection of abnormalities at an early stage.
“The routine of attending a cervical screening should be an important part of every woman’s health regime but for many women this message just isn’t getting through. Early detection is key to increasing survival rates so educating everyone about the disease, its symptoms and ways to prevent it is very important.”
Figures noted are from the Office of National Statistics.