More women get smear tests in East End than London average

More women have cervical smear tests as routine in London’s deprived East End than almost anywhere else in the capital, according to health specialists.

Only 17 in every 100 women over 18 living in Tower Hamlets have never been tested, well below the London average of 25 per cent, according to a survey by BMI Healthcare.

“But it’s disappointing that so many still put their health at risk by not undergoing regular screening,” said consultant gynaecologist Rashna Chenoy at the London Independent Hospital.

“Women could be putting themselves at risk of infertility and chronic pelvic pain by not having regular cervical smears or screening for sexually-transmitted infections.

“Most gynaecological problems are not dangerous—but if left untreated, some can lead to more serious conditions.”

Even so, figures out today put Tower Hamlets in the top four London boroughs for screening, with Lambeth, Enfield and Hounslow.

Neighbouring Hackney, however, has nearly one-in-three women who have never been tested, while Waltham Forest has London’s worst rates at 36 per cent.

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Cervical cancer—most common in women under 29 and second most common in women under 35—results in three women dying every day in Britain. Government guidelines suggest screening every three to five years.