Adult women drop checks for cervical cancer

Photo: Berit Roald / SCANPIX

One in three women over 55 do not go to the doctor to check for cervical cancer. The Cancer Registry is concerned.

Many older women may have had the same partner for a number of years and think that the examination is no longer necessary. But it is, emphasizes Ameli Tropé, head of the Cervical Cancer Program at the Cancer Registry.

This type of cancer takes a long time to develop. In some cases, cell changes can occur decades after the original infection. More than a third of cancer cases are detected in women over 50 years of age.

The risk is reduced by 80 per cent
That the development is slow is really good, because then we have good opportunities to detect precursors and prevent the cancer. At the same time, it is important to have the test done when the reminders from the Cervical Screening Program arrive, even for those who have been in stable partnerships for decades, says Tropé.

Cervical cancer is caused by infection from the HPV virus, which is transmitted mainly through sexual contact. If you check regularly, the risk of developing the virus into cancer is reduced by up to 80 percent.

The curve flattens out
Many people who get the cancer diagnosis have not followed up the invitation to go to the doctor for a screening test, which worries the experts.

The trend shows an increase in attendance among women under the age of 40, whilst for women over 55 the curve has flattened out and is perhaps about to come down. The share is now at 67 percent – which means that 138,000 women in this age group do not go to the screening test as they are encouraged to do.

Over 300 women get cervical cancer annually, and between 70 and 90 die from the disease each year.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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