Date lodged: 5 July 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to tackle the reported increase in incidences of cervical cancer.
Answered by: Shona Robison 19 July 2017
We encourage all women between the ages of 25 and 64 to take up their invitation for cervical cancer screening. It saves around 5,000 lives in the UK every year and prevents 8 out of 10 cervical cancers from developing. We are working towards increasing participation in the cervical screening programme and are investing up to £5 million from the cancer strategy to reduce inequalities in access to screening.
We also know that almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. Uptake rates for the HPV vaccination programme in Scotland continue to exceed 80% and we will continue our efforts to ensure that Scottish girls benefit from this vaccine, which will save lives.
Whilst the HPV vaccine offers protection against the most common causes of cervical cancer it does not protect against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Therefore, the combination of the vaccination and attending cervical screening from 25 years of age will offer the best possible protection against cervical cancer.