Essentia Health to offer free cervical cancer screenings

Cervical cancer symptoms treatment smear test nhs

Women are uploading selfies with smeared lipstick as a reminder of how important it is to get tested for cervical cancer.

The charity said cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, yet nearly two-thirds of those surveyed were not aware that they are most at risk.

"There is no one reason women don't attend, embarrassment, low perception of risk, fear and not understanding what the test is for, are just some of the barriers". The Trust pointed out that across the United Kingdom, one in four eligible women (those aged between 25 and 64) do not take up their smear test invitation.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, yet the charity's survey of 2,017 women aged 25-35 found nearly two thirds (61%) are unaware they are in the most at risk age group for the disease.

Another participant, Glaswegian, a 33-year-old woman said: "I didn't know it at the time, but the embarrassment I felt around going for a smear was actually doing my body damage".

His words were echoed by cancer minister Steve Brine, who has lent his support to the charity's #SmearForSmear campaign, which was launched on January 22 for cervical cancer prevention week.

NHS Western Isles is encouraging women across the Western Isles to reduce their risk of cervical cancer by attending a cervical screening test.

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Robert Music, chief executive Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, says it is a "big worry" because smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers.

"The number of women dying from cervical cancer has halved over the past 28 years as a result of the NHS screening programme as well as improvement in treatment".

He urged young women not to "let unhappiness or uncertainty" about their bodies stop them attending cervical cancer screening. It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to non attendance.

"Nurses are professionals who carry out millions of tests every year, they can play a big part in ensuring women are comfortable", Music added.

The smear test isn't particularly fun or glamorous (sorry to break it to you), but it could save your life.

"It usually takes about five to seven years from early changes seen in cells before it will develop into cancer".

"One of the common misconceptions around cervical cancer is that if you received the HPV vaccine you don't need to attend your cervical screening, this is not the case so please do not ignore your invite".

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