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Cervical screening saves lives says new campaign

13 March 2019 Cervical cancer

Cervical screening saves lives says new campaign image

A new campaign has launched to raise awareness of the risks of cervical cancer and highlight the benefits of screening, reminding women that cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts. The Public Health England campaign, which launched on 5 March, encourages all women to respond to their cervical screening invitation letters, and if they missed previous invites, to book an appointment at their GP practice.

Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England. Women can protect themselves against the risk of cervical cancer by attending their screening when invited; it is estimated that cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives each year. However, cervical screening is at a 20-year low, with one in four women in the UK not attending their test.

Says Alexandra Lawrence, clinical director of the gynaecology pathway board for north and east London: “I encourage every woman in north and east London to have a smear as soon as they receive their invitation or if they have missed a smear to book in with their GP. This can save your life.”

Everyone with a cervix, which is most women and many trans people, between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited to attend cervical screening every three or five years depending on their age.

The screening test, which only lasts a few minutes, is not a test for cancer. In fact, attending regular screening can help stop cervical cancer before it starts by preventing potentially harmful cells from developing.

The ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign empowers women with the knowledge and tools to get screened. Advice on making the screening test more comfortable includes:

  • Talk to your nurse - they are trained and experienced in how to make your test comfortable.
  • Wear a loose skirt or dress, you may feel more covered during your appointment.
  • Take a friend or family member with you if it will help you feel more comfortable.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening

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