Cervical Screening Awareness Week: Barking and Dagenham GPs urge people to attend potentially life-saving appointments

A consultant reviewing a smear test. Picture: Haydn West

A consultant reviewing a smear test. Picture: Haydn West - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Barking and Dagenham GPs are reassuring people that it is safe to attend cervical screening appointments.

Around 30 per cent of women in east London who receive an invitation for a free appointment to get a smear test do not take it up.

These appointments might have previously been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but GPs are urging anyone who receives an invitation or reminder letter to attend the potentially life-saving test.

Everyone with a cervix – meaning most women and many trans people – can book an appointment.

Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer greatly increases the chances of survival.

NHS Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups clinical lead for cancer Dr Kanika Rai said: “Spotting and treating it at an early stage is key to successful treatment, so having a smear test can help save lives.”