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Many women 'not aware of smear tests'

03 July 2017 08:51

Many women aren't aware of smear tests, says a survey

Many women aren't aware of smear tests, says a survey

Researchers have suggested that 1 in 4 women who do not have regular smear tests don't actually know the tests are available.

Some 28% of women not up to date with screening said they were not aware of smear testing, according to data from the University College London.

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Health experts' concern

The figures are released to a backdrop of wider concern among health professionals about the falling number of women attending smear tests.

Roughly speaking 3 out of 4 women eligible for testing are up to date, this however is a fall compared to recent years.

What the researchers say

Dr Jo Waller, from the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said: "It's worrying that so many women don't know about cervical screening.

"This study also suggests that many women, particularly younger ones, don't get round to cervical screening, even when they intend to go.

"The results around lack of awareness suggest that campaigns using TV, radio, social media or face-to-face visits may be better ways of communicating with women about screening than relying on letters in the post, which is the current method."