First Person: Cancer screening at 15?
THE government says the screening age for cervical cancer will not be lowered from 25 in England, but the rest of the UK offers screening at the age of 20. Is this fair?
I can understand why experts have their doubts on why screening early is not the best idea. I can also understand when they say female bodies may not be fully developed, but I think from being sexually active or from an age of 15, it should be appropriate.
According to Health Minister Ann Keen, lowering the age could cause too many false positive results, which could lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment. When the national programme came out in 2008 to vaccinate girls aged between 12 and 13 against HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which can cause cervical cancer, I thought it was a great idea.
Obviously the programme singled out a lot of girls who may have wanted the jabs. This happened when I was at school. In my year, the girls got singled out at the age of 14 and nothing has changed in the past five years since then.
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According to the NHS, about 2,009 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK and it is estimated that early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75 percent of cervical cancers.
If the age isn't going to change, then there should be something else in place to make young women feel better about the subject.
It is a major scare for women to find out that they have cervical cancer, but the Government will not act, even though they came under pressure with the shock death of celebrity Jade Goody. That is why campaigners want the screening age to be lowered.