A cervical cancer charity has issued a warning after figures showed a significant number of women over 50 are missing routine smear tests.
Over a third of women aged over 50 have delayed or missed their routine cervical screening test according to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. In a survey of 1,000 women aged over 50, a third admitted to either delaying or missing their appointment.
Most women delayed their appointment by two years, but a fifth waited longer than five years to have the test.
Representatives from the charity said that missing out routine appointments is the leading risk factor for cervical cancer.
The charity also revealed that the survey flagged up a lack of understanding related to cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening in women aged over 50 years old. This is particularly alarming as the charity predicts an increase of 16 percent in women aged between 60-64 years old and 85 percent in 70-74 year olds based on current screening uptake.
Cheif executive at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Robert Music, said that the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer has risen in recent years. More than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and the number is rising. He said some cases can be prevented so it’s alarming that the number has risen.