Bowel and cervical cancer screening improvements pledge

Sample observed under a microscope Image copyright Thinkstock

Improvements in cervical cancer and bowel cancer screening will help to save lives, according to a minister.

Rebecca Evans, junior minister for social services and public health, said bowel cancer screening was being simplified to increase the uptake.

And smear tests which identify abnormalities will include a test for the human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.

A pilot programme will be rolled out across Wales from April.

Ms Evans said an issue which also needed to be addressed was the difference in uptake in public health screening programmes between people living in the most and least affluent areas.

She said: "For these screening programmes to reach their full potential, the uptake of screening by the people of Wales needs to increase - particularly amongst people living in our most deprived communities.

"A combination of awareness-raising and more accessible and practical testing will accelerate improvements."

More than 400,000 men and women are routinely tested each year in Wales as part of the breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening programmes.

More on this story