Woman's plea for England not to follow suit and change cancer checks

Speculum and Jourdan Madge

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on changes to cervical cancer screening. Inset: Norwich mum Jourdan Madge - Credit: Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust/Submitted

People are urging the country's health bosses not to follow Wales and Scotland's lead when it comes to cervical cancer screening. 

It comes after Public Health Wales revealed that screening periods will increase from three to five years for women aged 25 to 49. 

However after the launch of petitions PHW has promised further clarification of the policy - adding the new plan will "save more lives" following a recommendation from the UK National Screening Committee. 

But women living in Norwich have begged English medical experts not to take the same path - saying they were "horrified" to hear the news from further afield. 

Jourdan Madge from Costessey had her first cervical screening test at the age of 25 with doctors finding abnormal cells.  

She said: “It was my first ever smear test. I had a baby who was just one years old, so it was absolutely terrifying. 

"The results came back and they found there was a 12pc to 40pc chance that if left the cells could have progressed into an invasive cancer."  

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The mum added: “I was absolutely horrified to learn the news. Cells are unpredictable and in my case could have turned. It's not a risk I would want to take." 

She added: "My first check after that I was so nervous - to be honest I'd like yearly checks, let alone five years.

“Personally, I think it should be kept at three years, what I went through was absolutely awful, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  

“And I was considered lucky.”  

But Samantha Dixon, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, shed some light on the new testing measures.

That is because in Wales, like the rest of the UK, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing identifies people at a greater risk of cancer. 

She explained: “This means that those who test negative for HPV are now able to be reinvited every five years, while those who test positive will actually be monitored more closely and be invited back in just one year.  

“These changes are happening at different paces across the UK, the strong reaction to the announcement shows why clear communication about health is key."