A campaign highlighting the importance of cervical screenings has been launched by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay to urge all women in Cumbria and North Lancashire to keep their smear test appointments.
This week is Cervical Screening Awareness Week as around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK - about two per cent of all cancers diagnosed in women.
The hospital trust is aiming to raise awareness and remind eligible women aged 25 to 64 about how attending a screening invitation can help to prevent cervical cancer.
Sanjay Sinha, consultant gynecologist and obstetrician at the trust, said: “Cervical screening is the most effective way of preventing cervical cancer.
“In the UK, 22 per cent of women still do not attend their cervical screening, so raising awareness of cervical cancer prevention is a priority.
“A smear test is the best way to determine the health of cells in the cervix.”
Sue Smith, executive chief nurse, said: “A cervical cancer diagnosis has a devastating impact on women and their family and friends.
“For those who were diagnosed after delaying their routine screening, knowing that cervical cancer could have been prevented is tragic.
“There is no reason why women shouldn’t attend cervical screening appointments. It’s a simple five-minute test.”