As part of National Cervical Screening Awareness Week, taking place all this week (10 – 16 June), Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH) is encouraging as many women as possible to make sure they get screened for cervical cancer.
Cervical Screening Awareness Week is a UK-wide initiative which aims to highlight the importance of regularly attending a cervical screening (smear test) to help detect cervical cancer early.
Statistics show that 20% of women in the UK don't currently attend cervical screenings, and Cervical Screening Awareness Week is about drawing attention to this problem.
Jim McVicker, Clinical Director for Liverpool Community Health Sexual Health Services says, “Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, but sadly many women don’t realise that they have it until they develop serious symptoms.
“As with many forms of cancer, the early problems are detected, the easier that cervical cancer is to treat, so throughout Cervical Screening Awareness Week, we want to remind women of just how essential it is to get checked.”
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early cervical abnormalities, and all women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years.
All women registered with a GP should receive their first invitation for routine screening at 25. Cervical screening is only for women who have no symptoms. Women who have symptoms e.g. abnormal vaginal bleeding, should be investigated in other ways and should attend their GP for assessment.
Jim McVicker adds, “Women often miss their screening appointments because they don’t believe that they are at risk, or because they are concerned or embarrassed about having the procedure.
“We want to reassure anyone who might be feeling at all worried about having a cervical smear test, that it is a very quick, safe and simple procedure, and one which can also help save your life.”
If you are over 25 and have not yet had a smear test, or if think you may be due another one soon, please contact your GP or a sexual health clinic to arrange one.
If you think you might have any symptoms of cervical cancer, you should contact your GP immediately.
For more information about cervical cancer and screenings, please call: 0151 284 2500 or visit: www.liverpoolcommunityhealth.nhs.uk
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