I’ve posted before about the importance of cervical screening, as I think it’s such an impotant thing to have done – every 3-5 years a 15 minute appointment could help to save your life. This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, so I’m up on my soapbox again to mention a new campaign by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
The Put Yourself In The Picture campaign, aims to put women in the picture on why they need to attend cervical screening. To get involved visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website to pledge to attend cervical screening and check out the campaign which will see a new Put Yourself In The Picture app coming soon.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35. Cervical screening save 5,000 lives a year, yet one in five women who are eligible for screening do not take up their invitation, and for young women aged 25-29 this rises to 1 in 3. Cervical cancer is largely preventable thanks to the NHS cervical screening and HPV vaccination programme. Three yearly screening prevents 84% of cervical cancers that would develop without screening.
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, commented; “Every day in the UK, eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly three die of the disease. A cervical screening test only takes five minutes but could say a woman’s life. With uptake for cervical screening declining we want to put women in the picture when it comes to cervical cancer prevention and reverse this downward trend. Sadly we support too many women who have had to go through more invasive treatment due to a later diagnosis which may have been avoided had the lady attended screening when invited.”
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland all women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for cervical screening. In Scotland screening is currently between the ages of 20 and 60 and will be raised to 25-64 in 2015. Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 19 – 25 January 2014 is a European wide initiative lead by European Cervical Cancer Association (ECCA).
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has also produced this video to highlight what women actually think about the idea of a smear test – there are some really interesting views, including embarrassment being a big reason to not attend:
So basically, I would like to encourage you all to attend, get yourselves informed about cervical screening, read the tips for attending a screening below and if you’ve never been please, please do!
Tips for attending a cervical screening:
· First time or nervous? Tell the sample taker.
· Worried about discomfort? Ask the sample taker to use a smaller speculum.
· Feeling embarrassed? Wear a skirt as you can keep this on during the test.
· Try to relax and distract your mind.
· Don’t want to go alone? Take a friend to wait in the waiting room with you.
· Not sure what to expect? Go to the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website or call their helpline (0808 802 8000).