ALMOST 30 per cent of Kerry women have yet to avail of a free, potentially life-saving smear test through the national cervical cancer screening programme, Cervical Check.
Despite the fact that early detection and treatment can prevent cervical cancer developing, uptake of the programme in Kerry is among the lowest in the country, with just over two thirds of eligible women availing of the test.
Clinical director of CervicalCheck , Dr Gráinne Flannelly, said Kerry women are putting themselves at greater risk of developing cervical cancer.
"The fact that fewer women in Kerry are taking part in the CervicalCheck programme is a cause for concern," she said. "I truly hope that women in the county who have not yet had a smear test will take five minutes out of their busy day to arrange one. It only takes a few minutes and doctors and practice nurses do hundreds a week."
The nationwide screening programme provides free smear tests for women aged 25 to 60. To arrange a smear test, women can simply contact a registered smeartaker of their choice to make an appointment. GPs, practice nurses, Women's Health, Family Planning and Well Woman Clinics all over the county registered to provide free smear tests.
For details of all registered smeartakers in Kerry visit www.cervicalcheck.ie or call CervicalCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.