Eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day in the UK and it is the most common cancer in women under 35. However, 1 in 3 of 25-29 year olds do not take up their smear test invitation with the uptake falling year on year.
In North East Lincolnshire we have a dedicated team of volunteers, part of the Health and Wellbeing Collaboratives who give up their own time to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer. Research[i] from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows that the number of women of all eligible ages having a smear test in North East Lincolnshire is decreasing year-on-year. In 2014 79.6% attended and in 2015 78.8% of women attended – highlighting the continued need for this group’s work.
Don’t ignore your invitation
All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening, the regularity is dependent on age and the results of any previous smear tests
Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.
Are you up for ‘Smear Selfie’?
Every year Cervical Cancer Prevention week aims to highlight the importance of having a smear test – this year’s week runs from 24-30 January 2016 and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is relaunching their successful #SmearForSmear campaign to get more people talking about cervical cancer and encourage more women to attend screening.
The campaign encourages people to smear their lipstick, take a selfie and share it on social media along with messages about the importance of attending screening, encouraging donations to help fund Jo’s work and nominating their friends to do the same.
Every year around five million women are invited to attend their smear. Smear tests are crucial to the eradication of cervical cancer as they can detect abnormal cells on the cervix before they develop into cancer.
The Collaborative team at Centre4 are joining in with #SmearForSmear with their selfie! Why don’t you join in, and invite your friends to do the same.
[i] HSCIC ‘Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2014-2015’ Nov 2015 http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/2021/Website-Search?productid=19239&q=cervical+screening&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=1&area=both#top
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