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Urgent debate over cervical cancer screenings

PUBLISHED

An urgent debate has been called in the Senedd over a move to extend routine cervical screenings in Wales from every three years to five years.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said those aged 25-49 who had not tested positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) would now wait two more years between tests.

PHW said it was because the screening tests are now more accurate. However, 30,000 people signed a petition against it, citing the risk it could cause an increase in deaths.

Particularly concerned are those who have not received the HPV vaccine, a national immunisation programme for which began in 2008 for girls aged 12 to 13.

The number of signatures on the official petition on the Welsh Parliament's website was more than enough to trigger the issue to be looked at.

The change follows a recommendation from the UK National Screening Committee.

Last week, Public Health Wales apologised for causing "concern" over how it explained changes to screenings following its announcement.

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Source: BBC News, 10 January 2022

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