1 in 5 Women Missing Cervical Cancer Screenings

Around 20% of women across the Thames Valley aren't going to their cervical cancer screenings.

Nationally, the figures have also hit a ten year low, after a brief rise following Jade Goody's death from the disease in March 2009.

Claire Maylon from Reading has set up a support group for women who dealing with cervical cancer.

Claire, who's from Reading, had two years of tests and treatment for cervical abnormalities before being given the all clear in January 2012.

28 year old Claire is supported by the charity Jo's Trust to run the monthly group in Oxford.

She told how Heart how she first felt:

"You're sat at home reading this letter on your own and you don't quite know how to interpret that. You feel isolated and very alone with that, yes you've got your GP but they're not always available 24/7 to ask.

"I can understand people being embarrassed about going to their GP for it or not being able to get time off work or things like that, but I think the importance of screening, could potentially save your life one day."

In response to the national figure dropping, Health Minister Simon Burns said:

"In 2009, we saw Jade Goody tragically lose her brave battle against cervical cancer.

"That led to a large increase in women coming forward for screening. The screening figures from 2009 confirm what an impact Jade's fight had on women across the country.

"However, we know that in 2010 the number of women screened dropped from 2009. Earlier diagnosis of cancer is essential to having a more improved survival rate and GP's send out an invitation letter to women that need to be screened.

"We urge women when they receive this invitation to consider going for screening as we know this can save lives.''

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