CERVICAL CANCER AWARENESS WEEK
This week is Cervical Screening Awareness Week (June 14th – June 20th).
Cervical screening could help,save your life , and this week aims to help enable more women to better understand their results.
Cervical screening (a smear test) is the best protection against cervical cancer, yet over a quarter of those invited don’t take up their invitation. It can be a difficult test for many, from those who experience pain to those with experience of trauma or who have gaps in understanding about what the test is for. The impact of COVID-19 on the programme, and reluctance of some to access primary care over the last year have provided further hurdles.
HPV primary screening was recently introduced across England, Scotland, and Wales. This is a more sensitive test which looks first for Human Papillomavirus - HPV - the virus which causes 99.7% of cervical cancers. This will help identify, at a far earlier stage, those who are at greater cervical cancer risk. However, many more people are now finding out they have HPV.
The HPV virus is very common, and 80% of us will have it in our lives, with most clearing it within 2 years. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of myths, misconceptions, and stigmas related to the virus, meaning when it appears on cervical screening results many feel anxious, confused and scared. A lot of work has gone into removing the stigma from cervical screening and encouraging conversation about the test. It is essential that the move to HPV testing, a far superior testing method, does not undo this progress.
For more information please follow the link below from Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust
If you are invited for cervical screening, please make sure you attend.