This literature review explores the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer in the UK. Current findings indicate that there is a risk for women under the age of 25 years, who may develop cervical cancer. There appears to be a gap in UK policy that may overlook these women, who are beneath the age for initial screening but exceed the age for vaccination. Despite the inextricable link between sexual activity and cervical cancer, cervical screening and sexual health promotion still appear to be disjointed, and the role of a sexually transmitted infection leading to the development of cervical cancer has not been emphasised enough in public health messages. Further training should be provided and its impact monitored, designed to address this anomaly in health promotion. There are many barriers to health promotion including, those of a societal, cultural and religious nature. Additional research is required to ascertain the types of educational and awareness interventions that would be most effective in promoting and encouraging positive sexual behaviours among young people, and to explore how these might be successfully implemented.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; Cervical neoplasms; Health promotion; Papanicolaou test; Papillomavirus vaccines.