The smear, which the doctor makes using a duck’s beak (endoscope), is prepared for laboratory examination. Photo: ANP
Less than half of the people invited for cervical cancer screening took part last year. That percentage is lower than in the previous three years, when an average of 57 percent of people agreed to the invitation, according to the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) report.
The cervical cancer screening program has been suspended between 16 March and 1 July 2020 due to the Corona pandemic. As a result, he received about 200,000 fewer invitations than usual. Each year, 800,000 people between the ages of 30 and 60 are invited to have a Pap smear done by their GP. Of the 600,000 people who received an invitation in 2020, nearly half responded.
Nearly twice the proportion of participants opted for the self-test as in previous years. According to the RIVM, some people who had not previously responded took part in the study. People who have not accepted the invitation at all, for example because they did not want to go to the doctor during the pandemic, will receive a letter telling them they can still participate.
A total of 296,487 people were screened last year as part of cervical cancer screening. Human papillomavirus (HPV) was found in 9.5 percent of participants, mainly in the 30- to 35-year-old group. This percentage is comparable with previous years. HPV is sexually transmitted and can cause cervical cancer, among other things.
3,350 participants were found to have an initial stage of the disease. This number is also comparable to previous years, RIVM reports. Every year around 800 people in the Netherlands develop cervical cancer and about 200 people die from this disease.
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