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

Deadline missed for PHE report on how ethnicity affects COVID-19 outcomes

Deadline missed for PHE report on how ethnicity affects COVID-19 outcomes

Public Health England (PHE) has missed its 31 May deadline for reporting on how factors...

Lockdown complacency threatens second COVID-19 spike that could 'overwhelm' NHS

Lockdown complacency threatens second COVID-19 spike that could 'overwhelm' NHS

Complacency around easing coronavirus lockdown measures could trigger a second wave...

Practices asked to 'proactively address' unmet health needs during pandemic

Practices asked to 'proactively address' unmet health needs during pandemic

GP practices in England have been told to assess where care has been delayed during...

Hertfordshire GP trainee Dr Abdorreza Sedghi dies from COVID-19

Hertfordshire GP trainee Dr Abdorreza Sedghi dies from COVID-19

A GP trainee working in Hertfordshire who has been praised for his ‘charisma and...

GP anger as shielding advice changed 'without warning'

GP anger as shielding advice changed 'without warning'

GPs have hit out at a lack of warning over changes to advice for patients on shielding...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...