Women who have been sexually abused as children or young adults are much less likely to get screened for cervical cancer than other women, according to a new study.
Figures published last year by the national NHS Cervical Cancer Screening Programme indicate that around one in five eligible women had not been tested for the disease within the previous five years, as recommended.
Screening can help cut the risk of developing cervical cancer.
And a recent audit showed that only just over a quarter of such cases in England arose in women who had attended for regular checks as part of the national screening programme.
The research team analysed the responses of 135 women to a survey posted on the website of the British charity, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC).
Among those aged 24 to 65—the current age band for cervical screening in England—three out of four (77.5%) said they had been screened at some point, and almost half had been screened within the previous five years.
But only just over four out of 10 (42%) of those aged 25 to 49 had been screened within the previous 3 years, in line with the current UK recommendation.
And one in four of this age group had not been screened for more than five years while one in 10 had not been screened at all. The study was published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.