Lancashire County Council are supporting Public Health England and NHS England, with the Cervical Cancer Prevention Week campaign targeted at women who are eligible for screening (those aged 25 – 64 years).

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a significant impact on cervical cancer mortality since it was established in 1988, saving an estimated 5,000 lives a year raising awareness of the role cervical screening plays in preventing cervical cancer

New statistics show cervical screening uptake in England has increased from 71.4%to 71.9%in 2018/19. While it’s fantastic that more people went for their test, 1 million women still did not attend last year and we are well below the national target of 80%.(Source Jo’s trust)

Around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and around 690 women die from the disease. It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented however, attendance is at a 20 year low, with one in four women in the UK not attending their cervical screening. The campaign will run throughout England, from 20th January until 26th January 2020.

Key Messages

  • Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts by preventing potentially harmful cells developing.
  • Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite. If you missed your last cervical screening, book an appointment with your GP practice now.
  • Cervical screening (or the smear test) isn’t a test for cancer.
  • Cervical screening checks the health of the cervix and can prevent potentially harmful cells from developing; screening can stop cancer before it starts.
  • Your friendly nurse is there to put you at ease. For tips on how to make cervical screening more comfortable, visit
  • Cervical screening lasts about five minutes, and you only have to go once every three or five years depending on your age. Its five minutes that could save your life.

Advice on making the screening test more comfortable includes:

  • Talk to your nurse – they are trained and experienced in how to make your test comfortable.
  • Wear a loose skirt or dress, you may feel more covered during your appointment.
  • Take a friend or family member with you if it will help you feel more comfortable.

For more information, visit