Public Health England estimates that eight in ten of the deaths could be prevented if all eligible women were screened and abnormal cells spotted early.
Being vaccinated against HPV — an extremely common virus passed on during any kind of sexual contact — at school also reduces your risk, as almost all cases are linked to it.
But it is also vital to be alert to early warning signs, such as abnormal bleeding and lower back pain.
The disease affects the cervix– the gateway to your womb from the vagina — and some women do not experience symptoms in the early stages.
But there are a number of easy-to-spot abnormalities that could mean the difference between quick, life-saving treatment and needing a hysterectomy, chemotherapy or something worse.
Kate Sanger, of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “These signs can be associated with lots of other things that are not cancer, and the chances are they are nothing to worry about.
“The key thing is to be aware of what they are and get them checked, not brush them off.
Five signs you should act on, even if you recently had a normal smear test: Abnormal bleeding. This means between periods or during or after sex. Vaginal discharge that is unusual in terms of smell, colour or amount. Increased menstrual bleeding or post-menopausal bleeding. Lower back pain. Pain during intercourse.
As cervical cancer develops, it can cause further symptoms. These may include:
· Going for a wee more often.
· Blood in your urine.
· Bleeding from the bottom.
· Lower limb swelling.