Here at Halton OPEN, we campaign about many issues that are unique to our over 50’s and one such issue that has sadly been brought to our attention is that of the cut-off age for ongoing cervical screening (smears). There is still a risk and ladies of a certain age can and do unfortunately develop cervical cancer. We would urge you to be aware of any unusual symptoms such as abnormal spotting/bleeding (please visit the NHS website for information on symptoms of cervical cancer) and see your GP as soon as possible. The earlier something is found, the earlier it can be treated.
There is an awful lot of mixed and confusing information available so we wanted to make sure that you all have the right information about when cervical screening stops:
If you are aged 50 to 64 – you should be sent a letter to be screened every five years – if you are not receiving a letter – you must see your GP and tell them.
For those of you that are over 65 – the current guidelines are that only women who haven’t been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests will be sent a letter inviting them for a smear. For those that do not fall into either category, you will no longer screened for cervical cancer and you won’t have any further smears (speak to your GP if you are concerned and need further guidance on this).
We believe that this age should be reviewed and extended and we are currently supporting a campaign to address this aim. We are living for longer and we are want to ensure that our lives continue to be healthy and screening is an important part of that.
If you are still eligible for cervical screening – please make sure you go and have your smear test – book it today!
By: Clare Lightfoot – Halton OPEN Development Officer