Coronavirus has changed a lot of things in our lives over the last year, but preventative health screening should not be one of them. Cervical Screening Awareness Week is the 14th‒20th of June 2021 and aims to raise awareness of the risks of cervical cancer, and help women and people with a cervix learn about how to reduce the risks.
According to www.jostrust.org.uk, 5 million women are invited for cervical screening every year in the UK but over the last few months many tests have been postponed and invitations paused due to the pandemic. #smearforsmear
So what is cervical screening? Cervical screening (also known as a smear test) checks the health of the cervix. The cervix is the opening to the womb from the vagina.
The nhs website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/) advises that cervical screening is not a test for cancer- it's a test to help prevent cancer and that all women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited to have a smear test.
During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells is taken from the cervix and the sample is checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of the cervix. These are called "high risk" types of HPV. If these types of HPV are not found, then no further action is required, but if these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of the cervix. These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
The Lady Garden Foundation has launched a new partnership with Superdrug. The ‘Love Your Lady Garden’ partnership will encourage conversations and give insights on the five gynaecological cancers; how to spot the signs and symptoms early; as well as promoting cervical cancer screening attendance. Currently, 30% of women under the age of 50 do not attend their cervical screening appointments and over 7,500 women die each year of gynaecological cancers. Symptom awareness and early diagnosis are vital to save lives.
Trained Superdrug nurses and pharmacists will be running health clinics on what symptoms to look for, as part of this partnership. Patients will also be offered a symptom tracker, designed to help them easily note down any signs or symptoms they experience, which they can then show to their GP. https://www.ladygardenfoundation.com/