WOMEN in the town are being encouraged to attend cervical screening appointments, or smear tests, to prevent cancer before it happens.

The message is being spread during ‘Cervical cancer prevention week’ as the test is the best way to identify abnormal changes at an early stage.

Dr Helen Lewis-Palmer, Public Health England consultant in screening and immunisation for Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral, said: “This procedure takes around five minutes to perform and it can save lives.

“Women have the option to request that a female doctor or nurse perform the procedure, it is confidential and they are also able to take a friend along with them.”

It is recommended women who are aged 25 to 49 are screened every three years while women aged 50 to 64 are screened every five years.