Date lodged: 14 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether a woman can request additional NHS smear tests if she has had a past diagnosis of abnormal or pre-cancerous cells, and in what circumstances a woman can request a higher frequency of tests other than on this basis.
Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 27 February 2019
The Scottish Government, along with the rest of the UK is advised on all aspects of screening by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) an independent expert advisory group. The UK NSC currently recommends that women should be screened routinely for cervical cancer between the age of 25 and 64. This recommendation was based on evidence about the effectiveness and benefits of screening women in this age range. The current evidence does not support screening women out with the eligible population as this risks causing more harm than benefit.
There is an agreed clinical pathway for those women who have previously had a diagnosis of abnormal of pre-cancerous cells which may mean they are called for screening more regularly. Women return to the routine screening pathway when deemed clinically appropriate.
If a woman has symptoms which could be suspicious of cancer she should raise this with her GP as soon as possible.