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Wales changes cervical screening rules: now every 5 years

By January 14, 2022No Comments

Cervical screenings in Wales will now be conducted every 5 years, up from the previous 3-year cycle. The change came after recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee due to the recent success of HPV testing.
Consultant in public health for Cervical Screening Wales, Heather Lewis said: “The HPV test we now use in Wales is more effective at identifying people at higher risk of developing cell changes which can cause cervical cancer.
“The evidence shows it is therefore safe to extend the time between cervical screening tests for people who do not have HPV identified.”
The decision has been welcomed by Cancer Research UK, which will allay the concerns of some campaigners. Speaking for the charity, Alice Davies said, “As HPV causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer, this new way of testing samples detects more women at risk of developing cervical cancer,”
She added: “As the new test is more accurate at finding those at risk of cervical cancer, screening intervals can be safely extended from three to five years.”
One in 142 females in the UK will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime, which highlights the severity of the condition. It is hoped this decision marks a positive step in the diagnosis of this disease. Public Health Wales intend to release further information justifying their decision soon.