Scotland has confirmed that they will increase the age which women receive Cervical Screening tests from to 20 to 25.
This move follows a review of the screening programme by the UK National Screening Committee (NSC). The NSC recommends that tests should be extended until 64 and over-50s should be tested every five years instead of every three.
The change is Scotland will start in 2015 when the first stream of girls given the HPV vaccination reach screening age.
Scotland’s Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Cervical screening has proven to be an effective method of reducing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, and in detecting cancer as early as possible.
“It saves around 5,000 lives in the UK every year and prevents eight out of 10 cervical cancers from developing. We take our advice on screening from the National Screening Committee and their recommendations are based on strong evidence.
This announcement is good news for women. Screening programmes need to make sure that the benefits of taking part outweigh the risks, such as unnecessary tests and worry”
“These recommendations also reflect the recommendations of the expert group in Scotland, which recently reviewed the age range and frequency of screening within the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme. These changes will bring Scotland in to line with current practice in England and Northern Ireland.”