This year’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week (June 11-17) is focussed on removing the barriers and obstacles that still deter too many women of taking up the screening option.
I’m backing the charity Jo’s Trust to help make sure:
- Every woman is able to understand why the test is important
- Every eligible woman is able to attend
- Action is taken to make the test more accessible
Cervical screening prevents 75 per cent of cervical cancers from developing. However, nationally one in four women don’t attend. In Liverpool, the figure rises to nearly one in three women. That can be because women don’t see the test as important, feel anxious about it or have had poor experiences in the past.
The national cervical screening programme saves an estimated 5,000 lives every year, but could save even more. Screening matters because cervical cancer spotted early can be successfully treated. Every year around 3,200 women in the UK are given a cervical cancer diagnosis.
We can all play our part in raising awareness. For instance, we can all talk to family and friends and discuss how to make it easier for people we are close to to take up smear test invitations.
Smear tests aren’t easy for everyone, but every woman should have the support they need to book and attend cervical screening because smear tests save lives.