Trust action on smear review ‘not enough’ say Letter Ladies

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​A Southern Health and Social care Trust spokesperson said: “We understand that people may have concerns following a recent media report on a cervical cancer patient.“It is important to understand the difference between screening and diagnosing cervical cancer.“Cervical screening does not diagnose cervical cancer, it is for people without symptoms and aims to detect early changes which could go on to develop into cervical cancer if left untreated.“Screening cannot prevent all cases of cervical cancer, so anyone with symptoms should always seek advice from their GP."The Trust continued: “Women with a confirmed diagnosis of cervical cancer in Northern Ireland will have their screening history reviewed through an audit of invasive cervical cancers for learning and improvement purposes.

This is normal practice and happens on an ongoing basis.The Southern Trust Cervical Screening Review, which started last October, is a separate process which is due to be completed by summer. Whilst it is still too early to provide feedback on the overall outcome of the review, we will be providing an update on progress at our Trust Board meeting next week. (Thursday 25 April).

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If a standard audit of invasive cancer for any woman demonstrates findings that are relevant to the review, these will be referenced in the overall review findings.

We urge women to attend routine smear tests when invited.

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