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Clinical update

RCN urges nurses to encourage cervical screening tests

New RCN guidelines advise nurses to encourage eligible women to access cervical screening tests

New RCN guidelines advise nurses to encourage eligible women to access cervical screening tests

Essential facts

Cervical cancer affects 3,200 women in the UK each year, leading to around 900 deaths. It is generally preventable. The primary cause is persistent or chronic infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection is a normal consequence of sex and in most women will not cause harm. For a minority of women, it leads to abnormal or pre-cancerous changes to the cervix, which, if not treated, may progress to cancer ten to 20 years later. The HPV vaccine programme was introduced in September 2008 for girls age 12–13 years, but does not completely eradicate risk.

What’s new

Nurses are urged to encourage women to access cervical screening tests in new RCN guidance on HPV and cervical cancer. The clinical professional

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