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Home Industry News Screening programme cuts cervical cancer rates by half

Screening programme cuts cervical cancer rates by half

24th February 2009

Women are now half as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer as they were when the NHS Cervical Screening Programme started back in 1988, figures show.

A statement from Cancer Research claims that in the late 1980s around 4,800 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in Britain, while the figure now stands at 2,700.

Before the NHS programme began, cervical cancer was the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Twenty years later it’s the 13th.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, commented on the success of the programme: “These compelling figures show how effective the programme has been in preventing the disease and saving lives.

“Screening works by picking up early changes in the cervix before they can develop into cancer.”

In the late 1980s the number of women who died from cervical cancer in Britain was more than 2,000 every year. In 2006 it had fallen to 921.

Ms Hiom, however, warned against complacency and urged people not to ignore screening appointments.

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