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Thursday 18th July 2019

Cervical screening age to rise in Scotland

12th December 2012

A review of the screening programme by the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) has resulted in an increase in the age at which women are offered their first cervical screening in Scotland.

cervical cancer

The results of the NSC review mean women in Scotland will go for their first test at the age of 25, rather than 20, from 2015 onwards.

Scotland's Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Cervical screening has proven to be an effective method of reducing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, and in detecting cancer as early as possible."

He added that screening prevented 5,000 deaths in the UK annually and stopped eight out of 10 cervical cancers from developing.

"We take our advice on screening from the National Screening Committee and their recommendations are based on strong evidence."

"These recommendations also reflect the recommendations of the expert group in Scotland, which recently reviewed the age range and frequency of screening within the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme."

He explained that the changes to the age at which cervical screening was offered would bring Scotland "into line" with England and Northern Ireland.

The NSC also recommended cervical screening tests should be offered until the age of 64 and women aged over 50 should go for a test every five years, instead of the current test which is offered every three years. 


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