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Women urged to take action that could save their lives

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:06 02 July 2010

Sarah Brealey

Women in Norfolk are being urged not to ignore the letter inviting them for the smear test which could save their life.

Women in Norfolk are being urged not to ignore the letter inviting them for the smear test which could save their life.

NHS Norfolk says women should remember the three Rs of cervical screening - to register with a doctor and make sure they have your current address, to read the letter inviting you for a smear test, and to return for any follow-up which is recommended.

The disease causes nearly 1,000 deaths each year in the UK and is the 12th most common cancer in women of all ages - the second most common cancer in women younger than 35. However, it can be prevented in 75pc of cases by early detection. Results in Norfolk are now back in less than two weeks.

Victoria Holliday, a GP and member of NHS Norfolk's clinical executive, said: “While we understand that some may be reluctant to do so, the importance of regular checks can not be overestimated. We would urge anyone with any worries about the screening process to contact their surgery and put their mind at rest.”

Currently women aged 25 to 49 are invited for a smear test every three years, then every five years from age 50 to 64. Women over 65 are invited if their previous three tests were not clear, or if they have never been screened.

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