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Eur J Cancer. 2000 Nov;36(17):2205-8.

Cervical cancer screening in England.

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NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, The Manor House, 260 Ecclesall Road South, S11 9PS, Sheffield, UK.


Cervical screening in England is provided free of charge by the National Health Service to all women aged 20-64 years. Computerised call and recall was introduced in 1988 and women receive an invitation every 3-5 years. Smears are taken by the local family doctor, by his/her nurse or at community clinics. Approximately 85% of English women have had a smear in the last 5 years. Quality assurance programmes have recently been established for laboratories and colposcopy clinics and lessons have been learned from previous failures of the service. The incidence has fallen from 16 per 100000 in 1986 to 9.3 per 100000 in 1997. Mortality is currently falling by 7% per year.

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