The district’s MP is urging women to book their smear tests in association with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust by raising awareness on how to prevent the risk of developing the disease.

More than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented.

Dame Eleanor said: “I am delighted to be working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

"Cervical screening prevents up to 75 per cent of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment."

This week Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust published new research which has found young 71 per cent of women delay their screening because they feel scared.

A further 75 per cent said they felt vulnerable whilst 81 per cent admitted they were embarrassed at the thought of going.

Cervical screening are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV vaccine offered in schools.

However, screenings are at a 21-year low in England, more than one in four women are not booking the potentially life-saving test.

The Trust's chief executive, Robert Music, said: “We are delighted to have Dame Eleanor’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening.

"We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.”