Should the age of screening for cervical cancer be lowered?

Though evidence suggests that

  1. The incidence of cervical cancer in young women aged less than 25 is rare
  2. The incidence of false positive human papillomavirus (HPV) virus infection detection is high leading to abnormal smears, anxiety and unneccessary treatment with a risk of subsequent premature births.
  3. Screening also has had no impact on the rate of cervical cancer up to the age of 30.

There are still reported cases of cervical cancer in these young women, so is this not still an argument for screening at an earlier age?

What do you think?

The last petition regarding this matter, Sophie’s choice came about after young Miss Sophie Jones was sadly diagnosed with cervical cancer at the very young age of 19 and there were reports that she had requested a smear before this but was turned down because of the The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) policy of not screening under 25s. Sadly Miss Jones died in March 2014 making her one of the youngest victims of the disease.

Sophie Jones died of cervical cancer in March 2014

The petition was archived in March this year after the Department of Health stated that Miss Jones had her symptoms for 1 year and that the late detection of her cancer rather than being due to a screening issue, was a case of misdiagnosis. Apparently, she had complained of severe abdominal pains but it was suggested that it could be crohn’s disease.

The petition and the response can be found via the link below.

https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/62385

Newspaper coverage

International Business Times http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/sophie-jones-did-not-need-smear-test-misunderstandings-about-cervical-screening-1441142

Daily mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2584037/Horrifying-picture-model-19-killed-cervical-cancer.html

Should the age of screening for cervical cancer be lowered?

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