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30,000 women in Cornwall missed their last smear test

smear test radar

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:31am 15th February 2019.

More than 30,000 women in Cornwall missed their last smear test.

According to NHS figures, the take-up rate for cervical screenings in the Duchy has fallen for the third consecutive year.

Only 74.5% of the 138,000 women who were due a smear test before the end of March attended an appointment.

This means around 35,120 women missed out on the 'life-saving' programme.

Cancer charities have said the "plummeting" attendance rate in England is enormously worrying.

See what happened when Lucy from the Breakfast Show went to get her smear test...

"These statistics are highly frustrating and, coupled with rising cervical cancer diagnoses, an enormous worry.

"Women in England are frankly being let down.

"Many struggle to get screening appointments at their GP, access through sexual health is declining, and there is limited provision for those requiring extra support including survivors of sexual violence or those with a learning disability.

"We cannot sit back and let cervical screening coverage continue to plummet or diagnoses of this often preventable cancer will rise and more mothers, daughters, sisters and friends will be lost."

Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Cervical screening is a test that looks for changes in the cells of the cervix which could develop into cancer.

Women aged between 25 and 49 are invited for a screening every three years, while those aged 50 to 64 attend every five years.

If they do not have a test within six months of their latest invitation they are counted as not having attended.

In Cornwall, the younger age group were significantly less likely to be up to date with their tests.

Just 73.4% of 25 to 40-year-olds had attended their last appointment before the end of March compared to 76.3% of 50 to 64-year-olds.

Find all the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer here.

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