The Cancer Collaborative Programme, part of Care Plus Group, is supporting Cervical Screening Awareness Week (20th – 25th January).
This is a UK wide initiative lead by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. The week aims to highlight the importance of cervical screening (smear) and how attending a screening invitation can help to prevent cervical cancer.
The Cancer Collaborative Team have organised the following awareness raising events:
In the UK, 20% of women still do not attend their cervical screening and so raising public awareness of cervical cancer prevention is still a priority. Public knowledge and understanding of issues such as cervical screening, the causes of cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer and treatment is generally low.
Julie Grimmer, Cancer/CHD Programme Manager for Care Plus Group, said:
“The NHS cervical screening programme in the UK may detect changes in the cells of the cervix at a pre-cancerous stage. If abnormal cells are caught early, cancer can be prevented or treated.
“Women between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited to go to their nurse (GP’s surgery) or Family Planning Clinic for their free cervical screening test (smear) every three to five years. Locally, we know that younger women (aged 25-29) are the least likely to go for their smear, with only 72% of them attending – this means that some 1500 young women are not responding to this very important invitation.
“It is very important that women attend these appointments as we know that cervical screening can save lives, it is estimated that the NHS cervical screening programme saves 4,500 lives every year.”
Cervical screening (smear test) helps doctors find changes in the cervix early before they have chance to develop into cancer. Treating early changes can prevent cervical cancer from developing. Treatment is easy and effective.
Abnormal cells found on the cervix during a cervical screening test are usually at an early pre-cancer stage, and do not cause any symptoms. Treating the abnormal cells prevents cancer developing.
The signs and symptoms of cervical cancer to look out for include:
These symptoms aren't always due to cervical cancer, but anyone experiencing them should visit their GP or nurse.
The Cancer Collaborative Programme have information on cervical screening and cervical cancer available from their information point, which is currently located at Second Avenue Resource Centre, Second Avenue, Grimsby.
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