Warning to women over smear tests

WOMEN in Waveney and Great Yarmouth are being urged to check the date of their last smear test.Thousands of women forget to book or avoid the short screening test for cervical cancer, but health chiefs at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (NHSGY) say it could have tragic consequences if missed.

WOMEN in Waveney and Great Yarmouth are being urged to check the date of their last smear test.

Thousands of women forget to book or avoid the short screening test for cervical cancer, but health chiefs at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (NHSGY) say it could have tragic consequences if missed.

Dr Alistair Lipp, director of public health at NHSGY, said: 'We are encouraging anyone who has not had their smear to go. We know it can be scary or something you just keep putting off but the consequences could be tragic.

'The screening can detect any early signs of abnormal cells that may develop into cancer.'


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Cervical cancer affects more than 2,000 people a year in the UK and causes around 400 deaths.

Health chiefs are pushing the screening message as part of Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which stars Sunday.

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Dr Lipp added: 'There was an increase in the number of women who went for their test after Jade Goody sadly died. But many of them were the 'worried well' and the Goody effect seems to have declined.

'This is a life-saving screening procedure that is quick and can be carried out at your doctor's surgery. If you feel nervous or want to know more about the screening then talk to your practice nurse beforehand. They will be able to offer you advice.

'We know many women find it a scary, a bit embarrassing and for some a bit painful but this could save your life.

'If you haven't had a test for three years contact your doctor's surgery and if you get a letter - book the test.'

He stressed: 'Having the full course of the vaccine helps prevent teenage girls developing cervical cancer later in life.'

Contact your GP for a smear test, or for teenage girls who may have missed their HPV vaccine, call 01502 527591.

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