Women in Waltham Forest urged to take cervical screening test

Local women between the ages of 25 and 64 are being encouraged to make an appointment for a cervical smear test in a bid to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. 

NHS Waltham Forest CCG is running a social media campaign during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22-28 January) aimed at encouraging women to book an appointment to take the test and reduce the numbers of those with the deadly disease. 

CCG Senior Commissioning Manager Janice Richards described her personal experience of cervical screening and how, as a result, she had treatment that may have saved her life. 

She said: “I had no symptoms or any reason to be worried but my cervical screening found that I had abnormal cells that were quite advanced.” 

“I was referred to a specialist clinic and told that the cells had a high chance of developing into cancer. I was given laser treatment at the hospital which thankfully got rid of all the potentially cancerous cells. The abnormal cells were caught just in time – that smear test probably saved my life.” 

Less than two-thirds of women in the borough attend their screening appointments and the local and national campaigns aim to let them know how quick and convenient it can be to see a nurse for this potentially life-saving test. 

CCG Clinical Director Dr Mayank Shah said: “All GP practices in Waltham Forest offer cervical screening appointments, so we are encouraging women in the borough to contact their practice if they want to talk to their GP or nurse about screening, especially if they have never been screened before or haven’t been screened in the last five years.”