MK Council is encouraging eligible residents to take up offers of smear tests to help detect cervical cancer at an earlier stage.
Between From 17th January - 23 January, it is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and this time is used to try and raise awareness of cervical screening.
In the UK, it is reported by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust that one in three women and people with a cervix don't attend cervical screening.
The most recent data for Milton Keynes shows cervical screening uptake is just 67.1% among women aged 25-49 years and 72.7% among women aged 50-64 years.
Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “Cervical screening saves lives and it is really worrying to see this decline. People might feel they are helping the NHS by not taking up their appointment during the pandemic but cervical cancer is often symptom free until it is too late and you could be putting your life at risk.
"I know it is not the most comfortable thing to do but it only takes minutes and could make all the difference.”
Vicky Head, Director of Public Health for Milton Keynes said: “Cervical cancer can be preventable thanks to cervical screening and HPV vaccination. Screening allows for the detection of cervical cancer at an early stage when it is far easier to treat.
"I would strongly encourage you to accept your invitation for screening when you receive it and to speak to your GP if you have any concerns.”