WOMEN in Strathkelvin and Bearsden are being urged to get screened for cervical cancer – as shock figures show numbers are at a 10-year low in Scotland.
MSP Rona Mackay backed the campaign by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which ran at the end of January.
The group also revealed only 69 per cent of eligible women in Scotland attended a screening last year.
Ms Mackay has spoken out and urged constituents to get the potentially life-saving smear test.
She said: “The number of women missing out on cervical cancer screening in Scotland is deeply distressing.
“Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 and it’s on the rise for women aged 50 or more.
“I urge women in Strathkelvin and Bearsden, and across the whole of Scotland, to get screened.
“Screening can detect cervical abnormalities and women can receive treatment before this deadly cancer develops.”
Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We have one of the best cervical screening programmes in the world which saves approximately 5,000 lives a year across the UK.
“However, the number of women attending their screening is at a 10-year low in Scotland.
“If we do not increase investment in prevention we will be faced with more women facing the physical and psychological cost of cervical cancer, increased burden on the NHS and state, and more lives lost.”
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.
HPV is an extremely common virus; around four out of five people will contract the virus in their life time and anyone who is sexually active can be infected with it. The body’s immune system will usually clear it up.
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
About cervical screening
Around 5 million UK women are invited to cervical screening each year.
Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years.
Women who have received the HPV vaccine will still have to attend cervical screening