Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – please don’t ignore your screening invitation

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – please don’t ignore your screening invitation

NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is calling for women across the county to make sure they do not ignore their cervical screening invite letter – too many people are doing just that and are putting their lives at needless risk.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, but is very preventable. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts.

However, uptake of cervical screening has fallen across all ages over recent years. In particular, women aged 25-34 are least likely to attend their screening of any age group.

During Cervical Cancer Prevention week (January 20 – 26), the CCG is asking women to make sure they don’t miss their next screening invitation. And, if you have already missed yours, then please book an appointment at your GP practice now.

Every day seven women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer and two will lose their lives to the disease.

Cancer charity surveys suggest embarrassment and a lack of understanding of the causes of cervical cancer may be behind these falling numbers.

Dr Raj Thakkar, Clinical Commissioning Director for Planned Care, said: “Too many women are missing out on their cervical screening test across all ages, but particularly women aged 25 – 34. Unfortunately this puts lots of them at needless risk of developing cervical cancer. This quick, simple test is essential – it could save your life and help us stop cancer before it starts.

“The early warning signs of cervical cancer are very hard to detect yourself, so it is vital you don’t wait until you notice symptoms before booking a screening.

“The test is usually carried out by a practice nurse. It is quick, simple and nothing to worry about. In around 95% of cases the test comes back normal and most abnormal cases are easily treated and will never develop into cancer if caught in time.”

If you have received an invitation for screening, have missed your smear or are due to be screened, please get in touch with your GP surgery to arrange an appointment – it may well save your life.

For more information about cervical cancer screening, go to www.nhs.uk or the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust charity www.jostrust.org.uk