Women across Worcestershire play their part in Cervical Cancer Prevention

Published date
News category
Lisa McNally

This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22 to 28 January), Public Health leaders in Worcestershire are raising awareness of cervical screening.

Every day in the UK, two women lose their lives to cervical cancer and nine more receive a life-changing diagnosis. In the future, these statistics could be zero.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) aims for 70% of women to have cervical screening between the ages of 35 and 45 as part of their global strategy for cervical cancer elimination.  

In Worcestershire, we are already beating that figure with 73.4% of women aged 25-49 being screened for cervical cancer (sometimes referred to as a smear test) in 2022.  

The top three areas from screening in county are Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills and Wyre Forest districts who all have a screening rate of over 77% of those who are eligible.  

Those aged 50-64 are also doing their bit to kick targets out of the park. In 2022, 77.6% of women in Worcestershire were screened.  

Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health in Worcestershire said: 
“Thank you to everyone who has attended their cervical screening appointment. You are all looking after your health and playing your part to wipe out cervical cancer for good. The global elimination of cervical cancer through screening and HPV vaccination is ambitious, but also very possible. 

“So when you receive your invitation to screening, please respond. And if you missed your last one, please book an appointment with your GP. It’s a few minutes that could save your life.” 

In Worcestershire we are working with partners to help even more people get screened, including offering evening clinics between 5.30 and 7.30pm, as well as on Saturday mornings and drop-in clinics at weekends.   

You are eligible for screening if you are aged between 25 to 64. If you are registered with your GP practice you will be invited for routine screening every 3 years if you are aged 25 to 49 and every 5 years if you are aged 50 to 64.  

Early cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cell changes don't usually have symptoms. One in 142 will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK 2021), but not everyone will have symptoms. 

The most common symptoms of cervical cancer include: 
•    unusual vaginal bleeding 
•    pain or discomfort during sex 
•    abnormal vaginal discharge 
•    pain in the area between the hip bones (pelvis) 

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is run by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity. It provides information and support to anyone affected and campaigns for excellence in cervical cancer treatment, care and prevention. Find out more by visiting the Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust homepage or call their free, confidential national helpline on 0808 802 8000. 

For more information and advice, please go to the Cervical Cancer pages of the NHS website.