UPTAKE of cervical cancer screening in the Lothians continues to be one of the worst in Scotland, and is significantly lower than a decade ago.
Figures released by ISD Scotland have revealed that more than a quarter of local females still refuse to attend for a free smear test, despite invitation by NHS Lothian.
It has prompted fears that many women may have signs of cervical cancer but, for reasons of embarrassment and inconvenience, will never know until it is potentially too late.
The low level of acceptance, which is below both the national average and Scottish Government targets, has been blamed anecdotally on women’s busy lives. But NHS Lothian has “bent over backwards” to lay on testing late at night and at weekends, while the turnaround for results is an average of ten days, one of the quickest in the country.