Campaign calls for the age limit for smear tests in England to be lowered


A campaign has been launched to have the cervical smear screening system reviewed, and for the age limit for cervical smear tests to be lowered from the age of 25 in accordance with the screening policy available in Scotland and Wales where women are invited for their first cervical smear at the age of 20.

The government’s argument is that statistically cervical cancer in the under 25’s is rare, and therefore, it is not cost effective to lower the screening age limit.

It has also been suggested that: "There is more potential if you are screened at that age to do more harm than good, such as leading to problems with having children later on."

To back this campaign why not sign the E-petition today at:

What are the symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

The symptoms of cervical cancer are general which means that they are the same as many other medical conditions. They are not always obvious and it may not cause any symptoms at all until it has reached an advanced stage. Common Symptoms that you should watch out for are:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Pain in the vagina during sex
  • Bleeding at any other time, other than during a normal monthly cycle
  • Bad smelling vaginal discharge
  • Persistent pelvic pain

If cervical cancer is not detected early enough then the cancer may spread out of the cervix and into other areas of the body.

When is a failure to diagnose cervical cancer negligent?

Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease. Having regular cervical screening is the most effective way to prevent cervical cancer.

However, Cervical Cancer mistakes can happen and it may be that:

  • The General Practitioner may fail to recognise or consider the early warning signs
  • The General Practitioner may forget to call you for a routine smear test
  • The General Practitioner may fail to action the smear results and not refer you to the hospital/colposcopy clinic within an appropriate timescale
  • The smear test may have been misreported so no further investigation or treatment is undertaken
  • The treatment you receive from the hospital/colposcopy clinic may be substandard and abnormal cells may not be completely removed

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