Cervical cancer can be prevented

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week provides an annual opportunity to spread the message that the disease can be prevented.

Cervical screening uptake in England is at a 21-year low with more than a quarter of women not attending. This means more women are being given a diagnosis that could have been prevented.

In fact, cervical screening coverage is just 67.1 per cent in Liverpool, which means that almost one in three eligible women do not attend a screening appointment although they receive a letter inviting them for the test.

Cervical screening (smear tests) can prevent cervical cancer from developing. They aren’t always easy for everyone, but they can and do prevent cervical cancer.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust provides lots of useful information and tips, helpful videos and encouragement to anyone who is a little bit nervous or wants to find out more.

Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented and one day become a disease of the past.

Smear tests are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV vaccine which is offered in secondary schools.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published new research which has found young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71 per cent), vulnerable (75 per cent) and embarrassed (81 per cent) at the thought of going. A worrying two thirds (67 per cent) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test.

Cervical screening prevents up to 75 per cent of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment.

Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years. Women can feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier.

If you think you have missed a test or want to find out more, you can ring the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on 0808 802 8000.