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Expert explains why cervical screening is important - and symptoms to look out for

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Cervical Screening Awareness Week runs from June 20-26 and aims to highlight the importance of regular cervical screening for women’s health.

The screenings are important as they play a key role in preventing cervical cancer. Dr Rachel Orritt, Cancer Research UK Health Information Manager, said: “Cervical screening saves thousands of lives every year by picking up abnormal changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer for women, trans men and non-binary people aged 25-64." In the UK, there are up to 3,200 cervical cancer diagnoses every year, about 300 of them in Scotland, according to Cancer Research UK.

Eligible women are invited by the NHS for a cervical screening, which they must respond to. But data shows that uptake has declined, meaning potential cases could go unchecked.Figures from Public Health Scotland show that 174,300 smear tests were processed in 2020-21, down from 318,727 the previous year.

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