Cervical screening awareness week runs from the 15 to 21 June 2021 and as part of the week we are
encouraging all people who receive an invitation to book and attend their cervical screening (Smear
Councillor Khtija Malik, Public Health and Commissioning, said:
“Cervical cancer screening saves lives and is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from
cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is largely preventable due to early detection through a simple smear
test and the HPV vaccine now offered to young people. It is important to go for screening to help
detect cell changes which could develop into cervical cancer. I am encouraging all those eligible to
accept their invitation when they receive it”.
Women aged 25 to 34 years, from ethnic minority ethnic populations, lesbian, bisexual and trans
people are less likely to take-up screening opportunities, putting them at higher risk. It is estimated
that those who attend screening, have between 60 per cent to 80 per cent lower risk of being
diagnosed with cervical cancer in the five years following their screening, compared with unscreened
women, so it is important to attend.
Councillor Malik added: ‘Cervical screening is free and saves an estimated 5000 lives a year. Those
receiving an invitation letter or if they’ve missed previous invitations should contact their GP to make
During the cervical screening, a nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix using a small, soft brush.
This can be uncomfortable but is quick and usually not painful with the appointment usually lasting
no more than 5 minutes.
For more information and support about a screening test and what it involves visit the NHS website
or speak to your practice about the appointment, including if it can be carried out by female clinican.
More information can also be found on the charity website Jo’s Trust.
Notes for information:
The most recent data shows Luton achieves the lowest coverage for cervical cancer screening among
25 – 49 years (59.7%), performing significantly worse when compared to England (70.2%) Luton is also
one of the lower performing CCG’s for cervical screening in the older age group of 50 – 64 years
(73.6%) performing significantly worse when compared to England (76.1%).