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#TextYour loved ones this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

#TextYour loved ones this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
23 January 2018

This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22 to 28 January), women in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw are being urged to contact their loved ones and encourage them to take up the offer of, potentially lifesaving, cervical screening.

Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in women under 35, with around nine women a day diagnosed with the disease in the UK. The best form of protection against the illness is to attend a cervical screening appointment (smear test), however only three in four women eligible in the region are taking up the offer.

The ‘#TextYour’ campaign is encouraging mothers, daughters, sisters, significant others and friends to send a text message to the ladies in their life, not only to make sure they attend their smear test appointment,  but to go along with them for support and to plan something nice afterwards.

Kathy Wakefield, Senior Screening and Immunisation Manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “I urge all ladies that as soon as they receive their invite letter this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week to pick up the phone and book their smear test appointment.

“We all lead busy lives, but let this be an opportunity to put your health and wellbeing first for a change. Look after your loved ones too, give them a call, drop them a text message or email and make sure they are up-to-date with their cervical screening. It could be a lifesaver.”

It is estimated that early detection and treatment through cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing. It’s important to remember that cervical screening is NOT a test for cancer but is a screening test to detect changes to the cells of the cervix or neck of the womb.

Ladies who do not attend their smear tests are also being urged to visit the ‘Fear or Smear’ website which addresses concerns women have about attending this life-saving appointment and provides them with the information needed to make an informed decision.

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years. If you are aged 25 to 49 you will receive an appointment every three years, aged 50 to 64 every five years and if you are 65+ you will only be screened if you haven’t had a smear test since the age of 50 or have had recent abnormal tests.

If you have missed your cervical screening appointment, you are encouraged to contact your GP to book an appointment as soon as possible.

Don’t let your fears stop you from taking the test, #textyour loved ones this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Find out more at http://fearorsmear.dbh.nhs.uk