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Plea after drop in smears

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags: , , , ,

A PLEA for women to attend regular cervical smear tests has been made after new figures highlighted a drop in attendance.

Last year 76.7 per cent of women in Dumfries and Galloway went for the screening, down from 77.3 per cent the year before.

However that was still higher than the Scottish national average of 72.8 per cent and the second best uptake in the country, just behind Scottish Borders.

Older women locally are still more likely to attend than younger women and the rate for the 50-64 age group last year was 77.6 per cent, compared to 76.1 per cent of 25-49s. The statistics, published by ISD Scotland, also revealed that in this area women living in the least deprived neighbourhoods have a better attendance for testing than those from the most deprived communities.

Disappointed with the national statistics and drop, Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “I am sad to see that attendance has once again fallen across every age group, meaning with well over one in four women not taking up their invitation. Cervical screening remains the best protection against cervical cancer and falling attendance means we are only going to see diagnoses of this life destroying disease which could have be prevented. Screening is not an easy test for lots of women, the barriers to attendance are personal and can be multiple. However it is an important one so I would encourage all women to take up their invitation.”

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