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Bromley doctor urges women to get potentially life-saving screening tests

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 June 2012

Consultant gynaecologist Miss Sally Watkinson

Consultant gynaecologist Miss Sally Watkinson

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Women across Bromley are being urged to take a health check which takes minutes but could save their lives.

Sally Watkinson, a consultant gynaecologist at BMI Chelsfield Park, urged women to book a cervical screening test as the annual awareness week gets underway.

She said it is important that women are up to date with their tests as recent figures how that 20 per cent of women do not take up the tests offered at GPs’ surgeries everywhere, along with clinics.

Nearly 1,000 women die of cervical cancer every year.

Women aged 25 to 49 are invited to attend for cervical screening every three years and women aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

Miss Watkinson who works at Bucks Cross Road said: “Everyday I see the effect this disease has on my patients and their families and each week I see women who have missed routine smear tests or avoided them altogether. We are very concerned that some women are not attending this vital cancer screening test.

“Early detection of changes to the cells of the cervix can be easily picked up and treated following a routine smear test. Sometimes I see patients present themselves with symptoms at a late stage but treatment is much more successful if changes are detected early. It is just as important for younger women to attend as they are just as much at risk as older women.”

She added that early detection is key and women in Bromley should book in for the quick tests.

“This is why I am urging women in Bromley to educate themselves to the important role smear tests play in early detection and prevention. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in the UK for women aged 20-29 and the second most common cancer in women under 35 years old, yet women do not seem to take the necessary precautions to minimise and prevent the risk of developing the disease. The smear test for cervical cancer only takes a few minutes every three to five years but it is vital in protecting women, saving families from heartbreak and sometimes preventing avoidable deaths.”

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