Cervical screening saves almost 2,000 lives a year in England. A new study published in the British Journal of Cancer found screening prevents 70% of deaths from cervical cancer. But if all women aged 25 to 64 regularly attended screening, this could jump to 83%.
Nearly 2,000 women's lives are saved as a result of cervical cancer screening in England each year, the report found. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London said the biggest impact of screening was among women aged 50-64.
‘Screening for cervical cancer is so effective that it prevents an estimated 1,827 deaths a year from it in England alone.’
Around 800 women die from cervical cancer in England each year. Cervical cancer screening is offered to women in the UK aged between 25 and 64. Between 25 and 49, women are invited for screening every three years, and up to the age of 64, every five years.
Screening involves a smear test which searches the entrance of the womb for abnormal cells.
This gives doctors a chance to remove tissue that might become cancerous.
The cervical screening program already prevents thousands of cancers each year and as it continues to improve, by testing all samples for the human papilloma virus (HPV), even more women are likely to avoid this disease.
The NHS screening programme invites women to be screened every three years between the ages of 25 and 49. They are then invited every five years up to the age of 64.
Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Whether or not to go for screening is an individual choice, but Cancer Research UK recommends women take up the offer to attend cervical screening when invited."
Women who have any unusual or persistent bleeding, pain, or change in vaginal discharge - even if they've been screened recently and whatever their age - should get it checked out by their GP.