Smear tests can be live-saving - Brake

Tom Brake MP joined other MPs to support Cervical Screening Awareness Week and highlight the potential life-saving benefits of cervical screening, also known as ‘smear tests’.


Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing and saves an estimated 5,000 lives across the UK every year. However, one in four women do not attend when invited.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s only charity for women affected by cervical cancer and abnormalities, has warned that more needs to be done to make it easier for women to access a screening appointment.

Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake said:

"I am delighted to have supported Cervical Screening Awareness Week and the work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

"It’s extremely concerning that more than one in four women do not attend cervical screening. Part of the reason for this is that many women find it hard to get an appointment time that suits them and I support Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s calls for action to tackle this.

"The charity is calling for a greater range of appointment times at GP practices, increased access through sexual health services and innovations, such as the introduction of self-sampling -- all achievable, concrete steps that could help save lives."


About cervical cancer:

  • The majority (99.7%) of cervical cancers are caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which causes changes to the cervical cells.
  • 220,000 UK women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year.
  • Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 890 women lose their lives every year.
  • Around 5 million UK women are invited to cervical screening each year yet one in four do not attend.
  • Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years.

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