What better time is there to arrange your smear test than during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week? The awareness week was started by the European Cervical Cancer Association due to ineffective prevention programmes in many European countries and the fact that “..the vast majority of women in Europe still know little about cervicalRelating either to the cervix (the neck of the womb) or to the cervical vertebrae in the neck (cervical spine).cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. or what they can do to prevent it…”
In the UK there are two government initiatives aimed to prevent cervical cancer: the HPVAn abbreviation for human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and may also have a role in the development of various cancers. vaccine and cervical screeningA way to identify people who may have a certain condition, among a group of people who may or may not seem to tests.
The HPV vaccine is available to all girls aged 12–13 years to protect against the human papilloma virusA sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and may also have a role in the development of various cancers. which is the cause of genital warts, and more than 70% of cervical cancers. For information on the safety and controversy of the HPV vaccine click here .
For women aged between 25 and 64 a cervical screening test (smear test) is offered to detect pre-cancerous cellsCells that may become cancerous over time. in the cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.. The screening programme has resulted in a decline in diagnoses by 7% each year since it was introduced in the 1980s. Attending your smear test is of vital importance as early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancer.
Jo’s trust, the Cervical Cancer charity, states that whilst detection and treatment are effective, 20% of women did not attend their screening test in 2010 and only 50% of teenage girls offered the HPV vaccine as part of an NHS catch-up programme accepted. Cervical Cancer is preventable and treatable if caught early enough. Feel inspired, therefore, during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week to get tested.