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Some women in the UK still unaware of cervical screening

UNAWARE: A quarter of women don't know about cervical cancer screenings

"NEARLY A quarter of women who don't make cervical screening appointments are unaware that the process even exists, according to a UK survey," BBC News reports.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix, the entrance to the womb. It's responsible for around 900 deaths a year in the UK.

Regular screening appointments to check for abnormal cell growth are offered to all women aged between 25 and 64.

The cross-sectional study was carried out by researchers from University College London (UCL) in the UK and the National Cancer Institute in the US. It found about a quarter of eligible women didn't go for a cervical screening test and most women who didn't attend either said they were unaware of screening or that they intended to go, but were overdue for their appointment.

Cervical cancer became a high-profile media topic after the untimely death of reality TV star Jade Goody from the disease in 2009. It now seems that almost a decade later, the issue has dropped off the radar for many women.

The researchers suggest that interventions to increase the uptake of cervical screening should focus on three main types of non-participants:

- Those who intend to go to screening but don't actually confirm an appointment
- Those unaware of screening
- Those who actively decide not to be screened

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