25 January 2010
Women in Jersey over the age of 20 are being urged to have regular smear tests, also known as cervical screening, as part of European cervical screening awareness week (25-29 January).
Smear tests detect cell changes in the cervix that are abnormal, which if ignored may become cancerous. Cervical cancer is treatable if it’s found early so it’s really important that women have regular tests.
In Jersey, all women over the age of 20 are eligible for cervical screening. However, since there isn’t a central health database in the Island, there’s currently no way of calling women to be tested. Women have to come forward for smear tests, which can be carried out by GPs or through Le Bas Centre.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rosemary Geller, said: “The number of women coming forward for cervical screening in Jersey is still lower than we would like. I anticipate that this will improve when we are able to invite women for screening from the new names and addresses register which is not yet in place.”
Cervical screening identifies abnormalities and allows early treatment before cells become cancerous. “It’s essential that women have regular tests. Once a woman has had her first screen, she’ll be invited back for another after a year and then every 3 years until she reaches 65, providing all the results have been normal.”
The new improved test using the liquid based cytology technique has led to far fewer inadequate smears which has considerably reduced the number of women who have had the inconvenience and worry of repeat smears.
To make an appointment at the Cervical Screening Clinic at Le Bas Centre, call 443781. Appointments cost £10.