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Cervical screening statistics

Cervical cancer screening information and statistics are presented here, including statistics from the NHS cervical screening programme.

Summary statistics from the Cervical Screening Programme in England - 2007-08

  • Around 4.3 million women of all ages were invited for screening.
  • Around 3.2 million women in the target age-range (25-64) were screened, 2.6 million of these were screened following an invitation to the screening programme.
  • Of the 3.2 million women aged 25-64 who were screened and had a result, around 93% were negative.
  • Laboratories examined 3.6 million samples.
  • Cervical screening can prevent around 45% of cervical cancer cases in women in their 30s, rising with age to 75% in women in their 50s and 60s, who attend regularly.

One way of examining the effectiveness of the screening programme is to look at the coverage* rate.

In England the proportion of eligible women attending cervical smear tests has improved from just above 40% in 1989 to 82% in 1995. In 2007-08 the coverage rate was 78.6%.

The target age-group and frequency of invite for each country of the UK is shown in (Table 1.1).

Table showing target age-group and frequency of cervical screening in the countries of the UK

Download this table (21.5KB)

*The coverage rate is the proportion of resident eligible women who have had a test with a recorded result at least once in the previous 5 years e.g the number of women screened divided by the number of resident eligible population

You can download annual screening reports from the NHS Cervical Screening programme.

In this section you can read about:

section updated 31/10/09

More information about cervical screening

Find out more about how cervical screening is performed and why it is important.

Our patient information website answers your questions about cervical screening.

Further cervical screening programme statistics can be found on the NHS Cervical Screening Programme website.

section updated 31/10/09

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Updated: 9 October 2009