YOUNG women in Kirklees and Calderdale are to benefit from more frequent smear tests thanks to changes in cervical screening.
From January 2005, women aged 25 to 50 are to be offered smear tests every three years in a bid to detect early abnormalitites which can lead to cancer.
Now women aged 20 to 64 are tested every five years.
The move comes after recent research, commissioned by the national advisory committee on cervical screening, showed women in the age group would most benefit from regular testing.
Women aged 50 to 65 will be tested every five years and women under 25 are no longer to be targeted.
Dr Mercy Vergis, registrar in public health for Calderdale Primary Care Trust, said: "It is very important women have these tests because it can pick up on changes in the cervix which can lead to cancer.
"Women will benefit from it because early treatment can prevent things like radical hysterectomies at a later date, and sometimes death.
"It is so important to keep up with screening. "
The cervical screening procedure does not test women for cervical cancer, but has has been shown to prevent up to 90% of cancer cases and combat 1,300 deaths in the UK each year.
The programme, to be introduced nationally, sets the minimum age for screening at 25.
Dr Graham Wardman, Calderdale director of public health and district screning co-ordinator for Calderdale and Kirklees, believed testing women at a younger age could prove inaccurate.
He said: "Research has shown that screening women under the age of 25 years may lead to unneccessary investigation and treatment ."
Women under the age of 25 who are concerned about cervical cancer were advised to contact their GPs, contraception and sexual heath clinics or genito-urinary clinics.