Thursday, 25 June 2009

Cervical screening debate

Worried about cancer? Worried about cancer?

The age limit for cervical screenings will not be lowered - Plus get advice on cervical cancer

The age at which women are called for cervical cancer screening will not be lowered to 20 in England, the Government announced today.

The decision comes following calls for younger women to be screened in light of the death of Big Brother star Jade Goody in March.

Women will continue to be invited for screening from the age of 25 in England.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, women attend screening from the age of 20.

A review of the issue was carried out by the independent Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening (ACCS).

The panel agreed unanimously for no change in the screening age because evidence showed earlier screenings could do "more harm than good", causing too many false positives and increasing the risk of premature births among some women.

In England in 2006, a total of 56 women under the age of 25 were diagnosed with cervical cancer, meaning it is there.

Health Minister Ann Keen said she fully supported the conclusion reached by the ACCS.

"They have concluded that the screening age should not be lowered but have recommended that we do more work around the treatment of symptomatic patients," she added.

Meanwhile, Jade Goody's widower Jack Tweed said today it was a "great shame" the Government had rejected calls to lower the screening age for cervical cancer.


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