Ireland South MEP, Phil Prendergast, is urging women aged between 25 and 60 to go for free smear tests, as European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week gets underway this week.
“As a former nurse and midwife, I’m fully aware of how lifesaving these tests can be. According to the Irish Family Planning Association, 90 women lose their life to cervical cancer every year, while 300 are diagnosed with the illness.
“Every family in the country has been affected by cancer, but cervical cancer can be prevented by a smear test and women can be checked by their GP through the National Cervical Check Programme. This particular form of the disease can be a silent killer as it has no obvious symptoms, which is why smear testing is so crucial. The Director General of the European Cervical Cancer Association, Dr Philip Davies, says Ireland’s check programmes are of a world-class standard.
“The Irish Family Planning Association also discovered that women over 45 were less likely to be smear-tested than younger women. Expert analysis has proved that women should continue to avail of regular smear tests until the age of 60.”