Middlesbrough women warned not to miss smear tests
Around a quarter of women in Middlesbrough are risking their lives by failing to book smear tests, health chiefs said.
And among women under the age of 49, the figure is even higher with one in three failing to book appointments.
This is despite them being phoned, texted and sent letters urging them to go for cervical cancer tests.
A number of practices, including Park Surgery, are now offering evening appointments for women.
Madeleine Johnson, public health specialist for NHS Tees, said: "Taking part in the screening programme is the best protection against developing cervical cancer.
"The test can detect small changes long before they develop into cancer, and there are simple treatments to deal with these.
"A cervical screening test takes only a few minutes of your time, and could save your life."