DoH will not bow to Jade Goody cervical screen campaign

The DoH has defended the importance of the cervical screening programme in England and has confirmed that the age limit will not be lowered to target women under 25.

This comes as The Sun launches a campaign, following the announcement that Jade Goody has cervical cancer, to lower the age limit 25 back down to 20.

Speaking at a briefing in central London on Friday, Professor Mike Richards, England’s clinical director for cancer, said that the cervical screening programme was saving 4,500 lives a year.

‘I am very confident that the programme is saving lives and is an important part of our cancer strategy,’ he said.

Professor Richards added that there was insufficient evidence to support lowering the age limit for screening down to 20.

‘If a woman under the age of 25 has symptoms of cervical cancer than she should go and see her GP and be referred to hospital.’

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have the lower limit.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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