It has been reported that the number of people now attending cervical screening has fallen to a 20 year low across England.
Everyday 2 women die of cervical cancer in England.
Further research around cervical cancer has found that 9 out of 10 women would take a test that could help prevent cancer, yet 1 in 4 women do not attending their screening.
On the 5th March Public Health England launched a new major campaign in the South West.
The purpose of the campaign is to increase the number of women attending their cervical screening across the region.
Not only that but the ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ Campaign will encourage women to respond to their cervical screen invitation letter, and if they missed their last screening to book another appointment.
275 women diagnosed in the South West
Around 275 women in the South West are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and around 62 of these die from the disease.
It is thought that if everyone attended their screening appointment regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.
The new Cervical Screen Saves Lives Campaign provides practical information about how to make the test more comfortable and gives reassurance to women that screening is not a test for cancer.
Regular screening only takes a few minutes and can help stop cervical cancer before it starts.
The purpose of the test is to identify potentially harmful cells before become cancerous and ensures women get the right treatment as soon as possible.
Jackie Stockman, Councillor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing said:
Cervical screening is one of the most important things women can do to protect themselves from the risk of cervical cancer. Screening can stop cancer before it starts and saves thousands of lives every year.
“Please don’t ignore your screening letter and put off having it done. The tests are usually done at your GP surgery by female nurses who are trained to make women feel more comfortable. It is a five minute test that could be lifesaving.
Lead Consultant for Screening and Immunisation at Public Health England, South West, Dr Julie Yates said:
We know that cervical screening rates are at a twenty year low with one in four women in the UK not attending. I want to reach out to all those women who may have not responded to their screening letters, or who may have missed a previous appointment, to arrange a screen now and stop putting it off. Regular screening means that cancer is usually detected early, which means that the outcomes for women are much better and the cancer is often much more treatable.
“We lead busy lives and I know from personal experience that a kind reminder from a friend or family member can make all the difference as to whether things get done or not. I want to reach out to all of you who have women in your lives to ask for your help by just doing this and by reminding any of them who might have missed or put off having a cervical screening test of the importance of having them, and to support and encourage them to make an appointment to get theirs done!
Further details about cervical screen be found on the NHS Cervical Screening Website.