HEALTH bosses from NHS Cumbria are encouraging women to make sure they attend their cervical screening appointments when they are invited by their GP.

As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week this week they are stressing that attending regular cervical screening appointments (also known as smear tests) is the best way to identify abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix at an early stage, which can help to prevent cancer before it happens.

Dr Claire Bradford, head of public health commissioning for Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear area team of NHS England, said: “It is estimated that early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.”

Most women's test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

It is recommended women who are between the ages of 25 and 49 are screened every three years, and women between the ages of 50 and 64 are screened every five years.