A MUM who was saved by a routine cervical cancer screening has expressed concern at low uptake of the test.
Joanna Tatlock said she was disappointed that less than one in five women eligible for cervical screening take the test.
According to the latest results from NHS Digital there were 108,000 women in Kirklees eligible for screening in 2015/16.
But just 23,300 women (22%) took up the offer.
In Calderdale 54,200 were eligible, yet only 22% (12,100) women took the test.
Cervical screening can detect cancer, often at an early stage when it can be cured as it did with Joanna.
Joanna, of Meltham, said: “This is a disappointingly low take up.
“As someone who has been through the difficult time I have, I fully appreciate the screening that is on offer and strongly urge women whenever I get the chance to attend their GP for their smear tests.
“The care I have received has been first-class and I would encourage all women to please find 10 minutes to have their appointment. It literally can save your life, which is precisely why it’s there.”
The rate of uptake for England was 21% while in Yorkshire it was 22%.
Robert Music, chief executive of charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “The new data makes bleak reading. As we see screening coverage go down year on year, we are also seeing the numbers diagnosed with cervical cancer rise.
“If we do not start to immediately reverse declining coverage then tragically we will see more diagnoses and lives lost from what is a largely preventable disease.
“Among women aged 25-29 coverage is significantly lower than any other age group at just 63.3% meaning over one in three young women are not attending a five minute test that could literally save their life.
“9.9% of women eligible for cervical screening, aged 25-64, have never attended and this is a big concern.
“It is essential that government, commissioners and public health leads invest in ensuring that every woman understands the role of screening in preventing cervical cancer and the potential health implications of not attending.”
Fiona Jorden, consultant in public health at NHS England, said: “A smear test identifies abnormalities in the cervix which if undetected could lead to cervical cancer. Having a test is the best way to avoid cancer before it appears.
“We know that some women can find the prospect of having a smear test a little embarrassing, however the test only lasts three minutes and can give women peace of mind.
“We want to urge all who are eligible to attend their smear when they are invited, or book one if they’ve missed their last smear test by calling their GP to ensure they stay healthy.”