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Older women’s shocking lack of knowledge on cervical cancer is putting lives at risk

Women in their forties are putting their health at risk by thinking cancer is a young disease, new research has warned.

One in five new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed in women in their sixties, but those aged 40-64 still know very little about the disease and its causes - and this perceived knowledge gap could be putting women’s health at risk.

NHS statistics released in December 2015 revealed the largest decline in attendance at cervical screening was amongst women aged 40-54. According to the new GynaeHealth UK research, pain and embarrassment were the main barriers to smear tests.

Leading UK gynaecologist, Jullien Brady, said: “Social changes such as higher divorce rates, new relationships and a more liberal attitude to sex mean women over 40 are being exposed to the HPV virus more than ever.

Read more: Older women’s shocking lack of knowledge on cervical cancer is putting lives at risk

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