WOMEN are being urged to make an appointment for cervical cancer screening during a week of action.

According to figures from NHS England nine women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day and three women will lose their lives to the disease.

The NHS Cheshire and Merseyside's screening and immunisation teams are working with GP's to increase the importance of screening and are supporting Cervical Screening Awareness Week.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 but is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening and the HPV vaccination programme.

The majority of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have delayed coming forward for screening which has impacted on their ability to have early changes treated.

Head of public health for NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) Julie Kelly said: “There has been a fall in attendance of women across all age groups over the past few years but this decline is most marked amongst younger women.

"Making time to take up your screening appointment is the single most important active step you can take to avoid developing cancer.”

Statistics show that the number of women aged between 25 and 29 being screened is the lowest in any age group and numbers attending screenings are falling year on year.

Surveys by cancer charities suggest that embarrassment and lack of understanding of the causes of cervical cancer may be behind the fall in numbers attending.

Julie added: “It is really important for young women to understand the importance of attending cervical screening when they receive a letter from their GP as it can detect pre-cancer abnormalities, which if left untreated, may develop into cancer.

"Screening is for people without symptoms as a preventative measure.

“The screening test is relatively simple, it takes about five minutes and is performed by the Practice Nurse at your GP Surgery.

"95% of results will be normal and of those that are not, the vast majority can be treated very easily and will never develop in to cancer.

"I urge women who may have received a letter and decided not to attend to reconsider and make an appointment – it really is very quick, it could prevent you needing more invasive treatment later on and could ultimately save your life.”