As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael is supporting a new drive to encourage more women to get tested for cervical cancer.
Latest figures show that cervical screening coverage in Yorkshire and Humberside is only 75.4%, meaning that one in four eligible
women in the region did not attend their screening appointment.
Michael is backing Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which runs until January 28, and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, to help raise awareness of the disease and the importance of cervical screening.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.
Every year around 3,200 women in the UK are given a cervical cancer diagnosis. Almost 900 lose their lives to the disease, but the cervical screening programme saves an estimated 5,000 lives every year. However, the number of women taking up this potentially lifesaving test is declining and uptake is now at a 19-year low in England.
Michael said: “I am very concerned that more than one million women in England – including one in four across Yorkshire and Humberside – did not attend cervical screening last year.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 and is on the rise in women over 50. Screening provides the best protection against the disease and can detect abnormal cells which, if not treated or monitored, could develop in to cervical cancer.
We need to raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening and I am glad to support Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.”
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We have one of the best cervical screening programmes in the world which saves approximately 5,000 lives a year. However, the number of women attending their screening is at a 19-year low.
If we do not increase investment in prevention, we will be faced with more women facing the physical and psychological cost of cervical cancer, increased burden on the NHS and state, and more lives lost.”