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Working women urged not to put off smear tests

March 16th 2011

Barking and Dagenham women are being reminded of the importance of cervical screening as it’s feared many are missing appointments.

Broad Street Walk-in Centre, in Morland Road, Dagenham, has seen a 35 per cent drop in the number of women getting tested this year and is urging those who have put off appointments to take advantage of its weekend walk-in clinic. The clinic offers the potentially life-saving NHS cancer screening service, without the need for a pre-booked appointment, making it ideal for busy working women.

Service manager for Care UK at the Broad Street Walk-in Centre, Teresa Mayer, said: “Last year we saw a rise in the numbers of women getting screened due to the increased awareness of cervical cancer brought about by Jade Goody’s death, but this year numbers have worryingly dropped off.

“Early detection of cervical cancer is crucial, so it’s important that women don’t put off getting screened due to their busy lifestyles. Our weekend walk-in service is designed to make it easier and more convenient for women to get checked so we hope it will encourage them to get tested. And, because we run the service on behalf of the NHS, we want to remind people that it’s absolutely free.”

Former Big Brother star Jade Goody passed away on March 22, 2009, aged 27, following a high profile battle with cervical cancer. Following her death, demand for cervical screening grew as awareness was raised and more women attended screening appointments.

Each year in the UK more than 2,800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer – 55 women every week. It is the second most common cancer in women aged under 35, after breast cancer.

Broad Street Walk-in Centre, which is run by Care UK on behalf of the NHS Barking and Dagenham, holds the walk-in cervical screening clinic every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 5pm, except bank holiday weekends.

To access the service, women must be registered with a local GP and have the letter from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme to say their screening is due. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme in England offers free tests to all women between the ages of 25 and 64.


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