Health officials at NHS Quality Improvement Scotland have expressed concern over the decrease in the number of women who are getting their pap smears done regularly. They feel that health boards across the country must introduce awareness campaigns to give out importance of smears in preventing cervical cancer.
"We must encourage women, especially younger women, to take part in this highly successful screening programme," a report released by the bosses said. Jan Warner, NHS QIS director of performance assessment and practice development added that the program of pap smears has proved useful in Scotland.
"There is a concern that the success of the programme is beginning to change attitudes to cervical cancer. The screening programme is still exceeding its uptake target of 80%, but attendance has been falling in recent years. The programme is hugely effective, but we must not allow the idea to take hold in the public mind that cervical cancer has in any way been beaten," Warner said.
She also said that pap smears were the main reason that death rate from cervical cancer in Scotland had dropped.