A report from the CervicalCheck scheme has found that 100 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer during the first year of the national cervical screening programme.

The report says free smear tests were provided to over 284,800 women and almost 85% of test results were negative or normal.

Of the remainder, nearly 14% showed low grade abnormalities while 1.4% showed high grade abnormalities.

Over 11,100 women were sent for further investigation and 4,700 received treatment when they underwent a colposcopy.

Director of the National Cancer Screening Service Tony O'Brien said the highest level of uptake for the programme was among women aged 25 to 29 years.

The lowest uptake was among women aged 55 to 60 and the programme wants to increase up take in this group.

The CervicalCheck programme started in September 2008 for women aged 25 to 60, with most smear tests taken by GPs.