Women to be screened later for cervical cancer in Scotland and Wales

Women will be invited for cervical cancer screening later than at present in Scotland and Wales under potentially controversial plans from the UK's screening body.

Cervical smear test (SPL)
Cervical smear test (SPL)

GP broke the news in January that the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) was set to introduce a UK-wide policy cervical cancer screening policy later in the year. This was due to raise the screening age from 20 to 25 in Scotland and Wales. England has screened from age 25 since 2003.

Now, this proposal has been confirmed by the committee. The NHS and the public will be asked for their views in a consultation that will run until August.

A UK NSC report published Thursday recommended that 'the age of first invitation for cervical screening be raised to 25 in Wales and Scotland on the basis that there is evidence of a large number of women screened and treated with relatively little benefit below this age'.

In addition, screening for women aged 50-64 will be undertaken five yearly if the plans are accepted.

The decision is likely to be controversial among some campaigners who have argued for younger screening age to catch more cases of the potentially fatal disease.

In its January review, the UK NSC said evidence showed that screening at aged 20-24 was substantially less effective in preventing cancer and advanced-stage tumours.

It is believed that precancerous changes commonly found in young women most often resolve on their own.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Government stripped of power to suspend pensions for doctors facing unproven charges

Government stripped of power to suspend pensions for doctors facing unproven charges

Controversial powers allowing the government to suspend pension payments for doctors...

RCGP pulls plug on oil and gas conference after protests

RCGP pulls plug on oil and gas conference after protests

The RCGP has cancelled an oil and gas exploration conference booked to take place...

BMA to hold special conference after GP leaders reject 2020 contract offer

BMA to hold special conference after GP leaders reject 2020 contract offer

GP leaders have voted to hold a special conference after rejecting a package of contract...

Promise of 6,000 more GPs 'a pipedream' without investment, NHS leaders warn

Promise of 6,000 more GPs 'a pipedream' without investment, NHS leaders warn

Government promises to deliver 6,000 more GPs and 50m appointments are no more than...

Flu tracker: How flu levels are affecting GP workload across the UK

Flu tracker: How flu levels are affecting GP workload across the UK

Flu levels have spiked early in the 2019/20 season. Keep track of how levels of the...

Pension tax plan 'will fail to solve NHS workforce crisis', BMA warns

Pension tax plan 'will fail to solve NHS workforce crisis', BMA warns

BMA leaders have warned that raising the income threshold at which tax on pensions...