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Adverts increase cervical cancer screening requests

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The number of women asking to be screened for cervical cancer has increased thanks to adverts in GP surgeries, according to a charity.

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The news comes after Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust ran a pilot project investigating whether adverts in GPs’ surgeries would prompt women to be screened.

Under the Department of Health-funded scheme adverts were used for six weeks in 100 surgeries where screening uptake was low.

A total of 69% of surgeries that responded reported that 0-10% more women were asking to be screened after the adverts were shown, with 23% noticing an increase of 10-25%.

The advert prompted women to take notice of screening invitations, reminding them that cervical cancer is largely preventable. It also showed that support is available from Jo’s Cervical Trust.

Robert Music, director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We are now looking to test the potential of this project on a larger scale by running a further pilot in up to 300 surgeries over a six-month period.

“We believe this would provide the opportunity for more in-depth evaluation as to the long term benefits of placing cervical screening adverts in GP waiting rooms, but so far it looks very promising.”

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “I welcome these adverts in GP practices, especially in practices where uptake of cervical screening needs to rise.

“It is important that women are given information to help them decide to take up their offer of screening, and I look forward to seeing this project extended more widely.”


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