Doctors urge east London women to attend smear tests

Medics are urging women across east London to make sure they attend cervical screening appointments.

Consultant gynaecologists at BMI The London Independent Hospital want women in Tower Hamlets and Newham to make sure they are up to date with their smear test during Cervical Screening Awareness Week, June 9-15. Recent figures have shown that 20 per cent of women still do not attend their cervical screening appointments.

The consultant’s support of the campaign aims to raise awareness and educate women about the risks associated with cervical cancer.

Miss Sangeeta Agnihotri, Consultant Gynaecologist at BMI The London Independent Hospitals said: “Cervical cancer is entirely preventable. The signs that it may develop can be often be spotted early and it can be treated at this stage before cancer develops. Despite this around 750 women each year in England die of cervical cancer. The single biggest risk factor for developing cervical cancer is not regularly having a cervical screen, which is simple and quick.”

A cervical screening test, also called a smear test, detects abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells in the cervix to prevent cervical cancer. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for 1 in 20, the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them from becoming cancerous.