10 June 2014
Cervical cancer screenings could help the NHS save £10 million every year, as well as lives, if it were able to increase the number of women who attend them, suggests research from thinktank Demos.
According to the report, “on the spot” smear tests should be introduced as this would mean women could be screened while attending medical appointments for other issues. This would help doctors overcome female patients’ habit of putting off their screenings.
Demos also believes awareness schemes that target specific communities should be launched, as this would encourage those who are the least likely to attend screening appointments to accept the invitation.
Jo Salter, lead author and researcher for the thinktank, commented: "With cervical cancer, the stakes are so high - both cost and health-wise - but in many cases it can be avoided through screening.”
Many factors, such as nervousness, embarrassment, lack of time and an absence of knowledge, can stand in the way of attending a screening appointment, according to Ms Salter.
She continued: “It is crucial that these obstacles are removed, making it as easy as possible for women to make cervical screening part of their regular routine, as a smart, precautionary measure."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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