Across the UK, cervical screening coverage has fallen in the last year, which means that more than 1.2 million women are not taking up their invitation for smear tests.
The uptake for cervical smears is now at its lowest for 20 years, with take up having fallen across every age in almost all local authorities in England, most worryingly amongst those aged 25 to 49 years.
Sadly, the medical negligence team at Boyes Turner know all too well the impact a delay in diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer can have. We represent clients who have experienced a delay in recognising abnormal smear results and which in turn results in delays in treatment. As a result of the delays, women need more extensive treatment and the long term prognosis can be adversely affected.
During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week we were pleased to support the work that Jo’s Trust and other cervical cancer charities are undertaking to raise awareness about the implications that a delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer can have.
The #SmearforSmear campaign seeks to alleviate the concerns many women have about attending a smear, and to reassure them about the process, whilst highlighting the importance of a timely diagnosis.
In 2008, Big Brother star, Jade Goody, announced her cervical cancer diagnosis at the age of just 27, and she died a year later in March 2009. Her openness about her fight against cervical cancer, and her bravery in speaking out about it, brought the message home to young woman across the country, and emphasised the importance of regularly going for a smear. However, Jo’s Trust recently reported that the recent figures suggest that the effect of her openness about her diagnosis and the impact a delay in diagnosis can have has long gone.
Cervical cancer remains one of the most common cancers in woman under 35 but it is also largely preventable with HPV vaccination and treatable with early diagnosis. With one in three young women failing to attend their smear test, the campaigning work of charities like Jo’s Trust is more important than ever. By raising awareness about cervical cancer and the implications of a delay in diagnosis, and encouraging women to attend their smear tests we can help bring an end to this devastating disease.
If you or a family member has suffered medical negligence in relation to cancer we may be able to help. Contact us on 0800 884 0718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial discussion.