The Help Us Help You campaign, led by the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS, says that regular screening helps to prevent more than 2 thirds of deaths from cervical cancer – and urges people not to ignore their invitation.
Screening checks for the high risk HPV virus which causes nearly all cervical cancers. This is the best way to find out who is at higher risk of developing the cervical cell changes that over time could potentially lead to cervical cancer.
It is estimated that cervical screening prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths in England, and that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer deaths could be prevented.
John Denley, Director of Public Health, said: "2 women die every day from cervical cancer in England. Yet it is one of the most preventable cancers and getting screened can help stop it before it starts.
"You should not be alarmed if you find out you have HPV as it is a common virus that most people will get at some point in their lives. The important thing to remember is that any cervical cell changes can be treated, helping to prevent cervical cancer.
“So please respond to your invitation when you get it, or book an appointment with your GP if you missed your last one.”
Women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 are eligible for screening. Females registered with their GP practice are invited for routine screening every 3 years if they are aged 25 to 49 and every 5 years if they are aged 50 to 64. Those registered as male need to request an appointment from their GP or a local sexual health clinic.
Mr Denley added: “The test itself is quick and straightforward, and usually carried out by a female nurse or doctor at your local GP practice.
“I would encourage anyone who is eligible to take up their cervical screening test invitation as soon as possible – it’s a few minutes that could save your life.”
For more information, please visit NHS.