Workers Party representative Gemma Weir has called on young women in Belfast to make sure they keep their appointments for cervical cancer screening.
“Last year alone well over 20,000 young women between the ages of 25 – 29 didn’t turn up for their routine cervical smear test”, Gemma said. “This is the highest risk age group.
“When the 30 – 34 age group is added to that, the number of missed appointments rockets to more than 42,000”, she said
“There are a number of reasons why young women in particular might be reluctant to take up their appointment. Some may think it is unnecessary, others may be apprehensive or embarrassed but early detection and treatment of any abnormal cells is extremely important”, Gemma added
Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cause of cancer death among females in the UK accounting for 1% of all cancer deaths in woman”. 81 cases were diagnosed in Northern Ireland in 2016.
“I am aware of a number of community based initiatives designed to help raise awareness and uptake of screening appointments but clearly much more needs to be done. We cannot be satisfied with thousands of missed appointments when young women’s health and well-being is at stake”. Gemma concluded