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BMA meeting: Doctors urge government to lower age limit for cervical cancer screening

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2711 (Published 03 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2711
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1BMJ

    Representatives at the BMA’s annual conference have urged the government to lower the age limit for screening for cervical cancer to 20 years.

    Despite an independent committee having recently concluded that earlier screening could do more harm than good (BMJ 2009;338:b2583, doi:10.1136/bmj.b2583), representatives voted 68% for and 25% against lowering the age, with the remaining doctors abstaining.

    Mary McCarthy, a GP in Shrewsbury, argued that the best age to start cervical screening was 20 years, as it currently is in Scotland and Wales and as it used to be in England until it was raised to 25 in 2005.

    She said, “The reasons given [for raising the age] were …

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