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Concern over cancer screening rates

Concern over cancer screening rates

Published at 6:01am 27th January 2016. (Updated at 5:10pm 27th January 2016)

A quarter of women in Yorkshire are failing to attend appointments for cervical cancer screening.

Figures from Yorkshire Cancer Research show that during 2013/14, nearly 300,000 women aged 25 to 64 missed out on the vital checks.

The charity is urging more women to get themselves tested as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Head of Research and Innovation at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: "Attending cervical cancer screening appointments is incredibly important. Screening not only helps to prevent cancer by picking up abnormal cells before they become cancerous, but also detects cancer cells at a very early stage, when the disease is easier to treat.

"Although the cervical cancer screening uptake rate in Yorkshire is generally equal to or above the national average, a quarter of those eligible are not taking part. Cervical screening can prevent around 45% of cervical cancer cases in women in their 30s who attend regularly, so it really is essential that we drive home this message."

Increasing the number of people who take part in national screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer is one of Yorkshire Cancer Research's priorities for 2016.

It's planning to make a significant investment in community health projects which will improve the number of people diagnosed with cancer at an early stage.

The charity has already invested £135,000 in a two-year study to help determine why older women are underrepresented within cervical screening programmes and how this can be addressed.

Cases of cervical cancer are particularly high in women aged over 70, and it's believed that this is due to fewer women attending screening appointments after the age of 55.