The number of women screened for cervical cancer has gone up for the first time since 2002, according to a national report published this week.
The 2008-09 Cervical Screening Programme report for England, published by the NHS Information Centre, reported that the percentage of eligible women aged 25 to 64 who have been screened at least once in the last 5 years has reached 78.9%, compared with 78.6% last year. This follows a downward trend on figures of 81.6% for 2002 and 82.3% in 1999.
The increase in coverage is more prominent amongst the younger age groups, the report said. The proportion of 25 to 49 year olds (screened every 3 to 3.5 years) increased to 72.5% compared with 69.3% last year. Within the older age range (50 to 64 - screened every five years) the proportion of women being screened has
fallen slightly to 80.0% compared with 80.3% last year.