WOMEN across Wales are being urged to get a smear test with figures now at a 10-year low.
According to Public Health Wales, out of the 264,700 women aged 25-64 who were invited for a smear test in 2015/16, 204,100 attended with a turnout rate of 77.8%.
Now the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have warned that unless more women attend the smear tests, more lives will be lost.
Smear testing coverage throughout Wales is still the highest in the UK, despite one in five women not attending the tests.
The charity has now started a #SmearForSmear campaign and hopes to raise awareness of the screening available to women.
The Chief Executive for the charity, Robert Music, said: “We have one of the best cervical screening programmes in the world saving approximately 5,000 lives every year.
“However, at a time when the number attending in Wales is at a 10-year low, we need to be seeing increased investment in targeted awareness campaigns to encourage women to take up their invitation for cervical screening.
“Cervical screening prevents 70% of cervical cancers from developing and if we do not prioritise prevention, there will be more women facing the physical and psychological cost of cervical cancer, an increased burden on the NHS and state, and more lives lost.”