Cervical cancer screening: One in four in Wales miss test
Published: 7th Jun 2012 07:16:32
One in four women fail to go for cervical cancer screening in Wales, with Cardiff recording the nation's lowest figures, figures show.
The charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust calls the decline worrying and more women are being urged to go for a test.
Almost 40,000 in Cardiff did not have the test in 2010/11 and a bus advert campaign will target the city.
Campaigners blame increasingly busy lives, surgery opening times and a fear of the test for the low uptake.
They they told me there and then what they thought it was - I was absolutely distraught - I cannot even begin to explain how I felt”
For women in the younger and older age groups, numbers slip below the national average with 24.3% of 25 to 29-year-olds and 24.8% of 60 to 64-year-olds missing the test.
Karen Holroyd, from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, missed tests and was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 30.
"I urge everyone to have their smear tests, I realise now how important they really are," the mother-of-one told BBC Wales.
In February 2010 Ms Holroyd began experiencing heavy bleeding which was was put down to an infection.
Ms Holroyd admits she had not gone for a smear test "for years".
In August that year she was seen by a different doctor who immediately carried out an internal examination, and was sent to the emergency gynaecology unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
"They they told me there and then what they thought it was."
A biopsy revealed Ms Holroyd had had stage 2B cervical cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes.
"I was absolutely distraught. I cannot even begin to explain how I felt," she said.
She immediately began chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy.
Another major contributing factor to women not attending is embarrassment and fear of the procedure - it's a simple five minute procedure that could save their life”
"That obviously affected my fertility, it brought on early menopause and my partner and I had only just been discussing having children," she said.
Last June, Ms Holroyd was told the primary cancer had gone but the disease was still present in her lymph nodes which could be controlled, not cured, with chemotherapy.
"I went home and did my own research and found out I could have a type of radiotherapy, called CyberKnife, which targets the area more specifically than normal radiotherapy," she said.
After initially being told she would have to fund the treatment herself, Ms Holroyd launched the campaign Karen's Cause and was eventually granted the treatment on the NHS.
The tumours have now shrunk and Ms Holroyd is awaiting further test results.
"It's so important to make sure you have your smear tests," she added.
Until 18 June, buses in Cardiff will carrying the message "Cervical screening saves lives" down the side in conjunction with Cervical Screening Awareness Week from 10-16 June.
A Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust spokeswoman said: "There are a whole variety of reasons as to why women are missing out on the test.
"We're much busier now, more career-driven and don't have the time to take time off to fit in with GPs' opening hours.
"Some girls have a fear of the test because it's quite intimate, they think it will hurt."
Robert Music, director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said: "Each year, the UK screening programme saves 5,000 lives, yet one in four Welsh women are not attending their cervical screening test.
"With such a worrying decline in numbers, our campaign is also targeting Cardiff, where uptake is 73.7% - the lowest in the country.
"Adverts urging eligible women to get screened will adorn buses across the city with a potential to reach 92% of the city's population."
"Another major contributing factor to women not attending is embarrassment and fear of the procedure.
"We want to reverse this trend by reassuring those who are nervous about the test that it's a simple five-minute procedure that could save their life," the spokeswoman added.
At 19:55:52 in SportBotswana's Nijel Amos produced a stunning run down the final straight to beat Kenyan David Rudisha to 800m Commonwealth gold.
At 19:51:37 in EnglandA former PC who was inside the police control box at Hillsborough has denied witnessing the start of a "cover-up".
At 19:49:45 in WalesFive people arrested by North Wales Police in connection with a fraud investigation work for a Gwynedd bus company, BBC Wales understands.
At 19:45:31 in Northern IrelandAn investigation has been launched into a "serious data breach" after medical files were found by children at a former health centre owned by SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell.
At 19:45:07 in SportJersey's Zane Duquemin has finished eighth in the discus at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
At 19:36:49 in EnglandRinging 999 for a lift after missing a bus or train has been one of the most common "inappropriate" calls received by police in Norfolk.
At 19:33:40 in SportA Thai consortium is to invest in Reading after chairman Sir John Madejski confirmed the deal.
At 19:32:06 in SportFormula 1 is heading into its summer break, so it is a good time to reflect on the season so far.
At 19:29:04 in SportEngland swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has described her time at the Commonwealth Games as "crazy" after winning six medals in Glasgow.
At 19:19:08 in SportNorthern Ireland 800m runner Katie Kirk improved her personal best for the second time in two days as she finished sixth in her semi-final in Glasgow.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Cervical cancer screening: One in four in Wales miss test [Online] (Updated 7th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433161/Cervical-cancer-screening-One-in-four-in-Wales-miss-test [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
When politicians talk about tax it makes headlines - even if they are not really saying anything. Let's play a little guessing game....
Plans have been unveiled for five more local TV stations in Scotland.
Botswana's Nijel Amos produced a stunning run down the final straight to beat Kenyan David Rudisha to 800m Commonwealth gold.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Five people arrested by North Wales Police in connection with a fraud investigation work for a Gwynedd bus company, BBC Wales understands.
Shares in sportswear maker, Adidas, have tumbled after the company issued a profit warning and said it will open fewer stores in Russia than planned.