Prevent Cervical Cancer in Young Women


Target: Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the National Health Service

Goal: Lower the age of free cervical screening tests for women in the UK.

The National Health Service offers a free cervical screening test to women in the UK between the ages of 25-64. However, women younger than 25 years old have died from cervical cancer. While it is extremely rare for women to have cervical cancer before age 25, it does happen. The cervical screening test, previously known as the smear test, works to prevent cancer by examining cells in the cervix. For some, the cervical screening test is a matter of life and death. Urge the National Health Service to provide free cervical screening tests to women between 18 and 24 years old.

Research has shown that it is uncommon for young women to die from cervical cancer, however, no one should be denied a prevention test solely based on their age. If the age were lowered, it may encourage more women to get tested.

By signing the petition below, you are helping to persuade the National Health Service to lower the age of the smear test and potentially save lives. Please help these victims’ families and future victims from enduring unnecessary tragedies.


Dear Chief Executive Simon Stevens,

The age of free cervical cancer screening needs to be lowered at once, in order to possibly save the lives of numerous young women in the UK. Although it’s rare for women who are under 25 to have cervical cancer, it is still a possibility. The cervical screening test, formally known as the smear test, can alert women of abnormal cell changes. After receiving the results from the test, women can take precautionary methods to prevent cervical cancer.

Sophie Jones died at the mere age of 19 and Jessica Evans died at the age of 22 from cervical cancer. Dawn Weston was refused the smear test at 24 and died from cervical cancer at 26. Their lives were cut short, and a cervical screening test would have made all the difference.

The National Health Service has the opportunity to make a major impact on the lives of young women in the UK by lowering the age requirement for the cervical screening test. Please, lower the age of the smear test in order to help prevent cervical cancer and potentially save the lives of many young women.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: jpalinsad360 via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. EEB (Aust) says:

    Sadly, you won’t prevent cervical cancer in women under 30 with pap testing, but you’ll send a lot of them for unnecessary biopsies and over-treatments. (some will be left with damage)
    No country in the world has shown a benefit pap testing those under 30, but all have evidence of harm, young women produce the most false positives.
    Look at Australia, we screen very young women, usually at age 18 (some are even younger) and we also, have one of the highest referral rates in the world, the lifetime risk of cc is less than 1%, 0.65%…but the lifetime risk of referral for colposcopy and usually at least a biopsy is a huge and hidden 77%.
    None of this benefits young women, it can lead to psych issues and damage the cervix, which can mean premature babies, the need for c-sections and cervical cerclage, miscarriages etc.
    Australian women are urged to have serious over-screening from an early age until age 70, 2 yearly pap testing from about 18, an absurd and harmful 26 or more pap tests. Since the 1960s the Finnish program has offered 7 pap tests, 5 yearly from 30 to 60 and they have the lowest rates of cc in the world and refer FAR fewer women for colposcopy/biopsy, we “treat” more than 10 times the number of women, many of them young.
    This cancer has always been fairly rare in the developed world, it should be a scandal that so many women have been worried and harmed by this testing, few IMO, have provided informed consent and often consent itself is missing altogether. e.g. “you need one for the Pill” – wrong! The Pill has nothing to do with cancer screening, this is a old tactic used to increase coverage and to get around consent…the target is the focus and GPs collecting target payments. Some doctors will even refuse to prescribe the Pill until women agree to a pap test, this would be like mandating a man have a colonoscopy before he can have Viagra, that would never happen!
    A blood pressure test and your medical history are the only clinical requirements for the Pill.

    The best program in the world for those who wish to screen is IMO, the new Dutch program, it’s backed by the evidence.
    They’ll scrap their 7 pap test program, 5 yearly from 30 to 60, and offer instead 5 HPV primary tests or HPV self testing at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60 and a 5 yearly pap test will ONLY the offered to the roughly 5% who are HPV+…most women are having unnecessary pap testing. (HPV-)
    This program will save more lives and also, takes most women out of pap testing and harms way.

    Women will have to demand evidence based screening and some respect for informed consent, too much money is made using excess and non evidence based screening.
    It’s disgraceful that these programs continue to provide women with a one-sided screening “story”, count women off like ignorant sheep and focus on the target. This is not ethical screening, I consider it medical abuse.
    I have never taken part in cervical screening, I’m not prepared to accept much risk at all to screen for a rare event, I was content with my near zero risk of cc, now I know that HPV- women cannot benefit from pap testing. I’ve also, declined breast screening, (when I turned 50) beware of the official discourse, once again, it’s one-sided information with an eye on profits and targets/coverage, not informed consent. I’d urge all women to read the summary put together by the Nordic Cochrane Institute, an independent, not for profit, medical research group, the evidence for breast screening is not good.
    Make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to and never allow a doctor to coerce, pressure, scare or mislead you into screening, this sort of conduct should be challenged and reported. It’s time doctors were forced to view women as competent adults with legal rights, not screening targets and mere bodies.

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