Why is cervical screening in Wales being extended to every 5 years?

Mr Jullien Brady, Consultant Gynaecologist and Clinical Advisor for cervical cancer at Check4Cancer gives his thoughts on the recent news that cervical screening in Wales is to be extended from three years to five years from the 1st January 2022.  You can view the full article from BBC News here.

The news that Wales is extending screening intervals for cervical cancer from three to five years has caused much public concern. The decision has been a long time in the making and similar changes are almost certain to follow in the rest of the UK shortly.

The change is based on the success of using HPV as a primary screening tool and the use of vaccination to HPV that is now given in schools to male and female children at twelve years old.

Such decisions at a national level are always made on a population screening basis.

One of the many advantages of tests such as HPVCheck is that it allows any woman to take autonomy and individualise her own screening and perform the test at shorter intervals.

HPV subtyping also allows women who may not have had the benefit of vaccination seeing whether they would be suitable on an individual basis.

HPVCheck gives women the autonomy to be in charge of their cervical screening and is especially recommended for women who may have had a bad experience of screening in the past.  HPV testing is now approved by the NHS as a reliable method of cervical cancer screening.  If you have never attended the National Cervical Screening Programme, you can still find out if you are carrying the virus which leads to almost all cases of cervical cancer.

Please visit our Advice and Awareness page on cervical cancer which goes into more depth on the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer.

Mr Jullien Brady | Clinical Advisor for Cervical Cancer at Check4Cancer

Jullien Brady has an international reputation as a leading expert in the field of colposcopy and cervical screening. He is a former National Quality Assurance Director for the NHS Cervical Screening Programme and Professional Clinical Advisor for Colposcopy for Public Health England. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the BSCCP, the governing body of Colposcopy for over a decade. Mr Brady is passionate about women having the opportunity to maximise their health choices and screening options.