Nearly 1 in 3 missed smear tests because of coronavirus

21% did not get screened for cervical cancer because of concerns about Covid-19 (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week begins today. So this is a good time to start thinking about screening.

A new study by gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal shows that Covid-19 discourages women from having a smear test.

In the past 12 months, 28% of women did not get screened despite an invitation.

From 25. From the age of six, women are invited to undergo cervical cancer screening to look for signs of cancer. It is estimated that it saves 4,000 lives each year.

However, a large number of people who did not want to be tested – nearly one in three – could not participate because the pandemic forced them to delay testing.

10% of respondents did not take the test last year because they felt that the limitations of Covid-19 prevented them from making an appointment as usual.

Tests are still being carried out across the UK – even though the country is closed for the third time nationally – but according to the EU appeal, some women and people with cervical cancer are having trouble getting an appointment.

This is due to the backlog of appointments, capacity issues and the fact that in some areas there are no safe spaces at Covid.

For the 21% of people who did not attend the meeting, the main reason for staying away was concern about the coronavirus.

Other reasons for not getting tested include unwillingness to get tested (17%), a bad experience at the last test (17%), the belief that it is too difficult to get tested (15%), and feeling that it is not a priority (13%).

In times of international health crisis, routine checks are clearly not urgent, but appointments are always made and it is important that you go if you are invited.

Eva herself, who runs a free counselling service called Ask Eva, found that more than two-thirds of the calls she received were about cervical cancer screening, with patients reporting feelings of anxiety and confusion about delaying tests.

Karen Hobbs, who leads the nurse information service said that cervical cancer screening is by far the most common topic we get calls about at Ask Eve, and we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people worried about not getting an appointment or their appointment being delayed.

Read more: Health

Cervical cancer is a disease that usually develops very slowly. For example, a delay of a few months in a routine examination is unlikely to affect test results, but cancelled appointments and longer waiting times do have a significant impact on stress levels and health concerns.

During this cervical cancer prevention week, Eve Appeal is encouraging everyone to book and attend a cervical cancer screening test.

As there can be delays in early diagnosis across the country, it is important that people are aware of the symptoms and go to their treating doctor to express their concerns.

MORE: Should we get a cervical smear now or wait until the end of the pandemic?

MORE: A mother with cervical cancer said she would die after delaying treatment to save her baby.

MORE: A 23-year-old woman died of cervical cancer after refusing a smear test 15 times.

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