1 in 3 Women don’t take up their offer to be screened and yet cervical cancer is the second most common cancer amongst women in England under 35.
During this week’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week, the NHS in the South West is urging all those who have received an invitation for a cervical screening not to wait, and to call their GP practice to book their appointment as soon as possible. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme saves thousands of lives every year by checking for the high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes nearly all cervical cancers.
Dr Emma Kain, NHS England South West’s Screening and Immunisations Lead: “Deciding to go for your cervical screening isn’t always easy, and everyone’s experiences are different, but we know that 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable, so it’s vitally important that all eligible women and people with a cervix take up their screening offer– every screen we do is potentially saving lives.
“We also know that many of those who don’t go for their screening are scared that it will be painful or embarrassing, which is why we need to talk about cervical screening with our younger generations so that when the time comes, it will be a completely easy and natural part of their healthcare journey.”
Emma recently had her own cervical screening invitation and took her 4-year-old daughter with her, explaining how important it is to look after our bodies and that there is nothing to be afraid of. India’s response: “When I’m big Mummy, I can go too!!”
If you missed your last cervical screening, book an appointment with your GP practice now – it is not too late. Evening and weekend appointments are available at some GP practices, making it more convenient for you to attend. Some local sexual health services also offer cervical screening.