A CERVICAL screening campaign is being launched today to encourage women to attend their tests.

Following a successful campaign in Middlesbrough, the "cervical screening saves lives" programme is launching across the North-East with the support of the NHS, local authorities and Northern Cancer Alliance.

The launch coincides with the national cervical cancer prevention week, which runs from January 20-26 and aims to raise awareness among women aged 25-64 of the risks of cervical cancer and the importance of attending for cervical screening.

Sheron Robson, programme manager with Northern Cancer Alliance, said, “While some women will have made an informed choice to decline screening, research shows that for many, non-attendance is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of the risks of cervical cancer and understanding of the benefits of screening."

Research shows that cervical screening prevents at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK.

However, on average, one in four women are not attending their cervical screening test and uptake across the North East as a whole is significantly lower.