Cervical Screening is a free health test that helps prevent cervical cancer. It checks for a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus and cervical cell changes (abnormal cells).
In the UK you are automatically invited for screening if you are aged between 25-64.
Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers
Cervical cancer is also known as the silent killer as women with early cervical cancer and pre-cancer do not usually have symptoms. This is why cervical screening is so important. It literally saves lives.
TV reality star Jade Goody is probably the most famous person in the UK from die from cervical cancer at the young age of 27. She had suffered for many years with abdominal pain and blood loss and had abnormal cells removed from her cervix when she was 15 years old. Her death raised awareness of cervical screening but sadly only for a while. Eleven years on from her death cervical screening is at an all time low.
Jade campaigned tirelessly to educate women about the importance of cervical screening in her final months, bravely giving interviews and expressing regret that her young sons would grow up without her. It is important that Jade’s legacy is not forgotten. A smear test takes less than twenty minutes and could save your life.
Tips for smear tests
A smear test is not always easy for women for various reasons. Some women are embarrassed about being examined in such an intimate area and some are frightened of the procedure and that the results may reveal.
Nurses who carry out smear tests are honestly not worried about seeing ladies intimate areas and they will offer lots of reassurance and advice. Do not be scared to talk to the nurse and express your worries. Here are some tips for an easier experience:
- Ask somebody you trust to come along to the appointment with you. They can wait in the waiting room or be present during your appointment
- Ask for a longer appointment. This will give you more time to ask questions and feel ready for your smear test.
- Ask for a smaller speculum. A smaller size may be more comfortable for you.
- Wear a skirt or dress, which you can keep on during your smear test.
- Most importantly speak to your nurse. The nurse can help you and answer any questions that you may have.
For advice on cervical screening speak to you GP/Nurse of phone Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on 0208 802 8000.
I in 4 women fail to book smear tests.
There are over 870 cervical cancer deaths in the UK each year. This is more than 2 every day. Cervical screening can help prevent these deaths. Smear tests saves lives.
Do Not be a victim of the silent killer, book a smear test