MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, is encouraging local women to attend their cervical screening appointment as new data shows only 70.9 per cent did so, across the borough, last year.

Commenting on the data provided by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Ms Abrahams said: “I’m very concerned that more than a quarter of women in Oldham are not attending their smear test which offers the best protection against cervical cancer.

“Attendance is worryingly low amongst young women in Oldham, with only 61 per cent of women aged between 25 and 29 attending.

“Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented and one day may become a disease of the past.

“Cervical screening, or smear tests, are the best protection against the disease, preventing up to 75 per cent of cervical cancers developing, followed by the HPV vaccine offered in schools. Yet cervical screening uptake is at a 21-year low in England.

“It’s at just 71.4 per cent, meaning that more than one in four women are not booking a potentially life-saving test.”

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published research which has found young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71 per cent), vulnerable (75 per cent) and embarrassed (81 per cent) at the thought of going. Two thirds (67 per cent ) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test. See full details are here:

Robert Music, chief executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We are delighted to have Debbie’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening.

“Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy. We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions.

“It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.”