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Cervical cancer screening rates drop to lowest in a decade

One in five women skip their regular cervical cancer screening tests, figures suggest.

A lack of flexibility around GP appointment times was cited as a reason for low uptake of screening among women.

Research from charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust shows the number women attending cervical cancer screening appointments has dropped year-on-year over the past decade - falling 3% to 78.6% in 2012.

More than one in five women aged between 25 and 64, and one in three women aged 35 or less chose to miss their cervical cancer screening test.

For women over 50 screening uptake dropped below 80% in 2010 for the first time and fell even further in 2011.

“Every day eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three lives are lost to the disease,” said Robert Music, Director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.

“The screening programme saves 5,000 lives each year in the UK yet 20% of women are not attending their cervical screening test. The more we can do to stress the importance of this life saving test the better.”

The research showed a number of women didn't feel screening was a “necessary” test or relevant to them, while others said they found it “difficult” to arrange appointments around “busy work schedules”.

Question: Do you think practices' should be more flexible on cervical cancer screening appointment times?