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Cervical Cancer Prevention Awareness Week

It’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and it’s time to smear the stigma surrounding cervical screening.

Written by High Life North
Published 23.01.2021

By Molly Ashby

It’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and it’s time to smear the stigma surrounding cervical screening.

Smear test (cue shudder). We all know the stigma around the dreaded smear test, and yes while there probably are more inviting ways to spend your day than undressing from the waist down whilst a stranger pokes around down there with something that resembles a toothbrush… Smear tests save lives!  Quite literally too, as the screenings search for abnormal cells that can develop into cancer if they aren’t treated, and prevent a staggering 75% of cervical cancers from developing. Also according to research from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, more than a quarter of young women (26.7% to be specific) are too embarrassed to attend smear tests, and although understanding all women have a choice, we urge you to recognise the importance of the smear test and protecting your health. 

What is Cervical Cancer? 

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is a hollow cylinder that connects the lower part of a woman’s uterus to her vagina. Most cancers begin in the cells on the surface of the cervix. 1 in 142 UK females will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime, it’s is the fourth most common cancer in women, yet 99.98% of cervical cancers in the UK are preventable.

That’s why we’ve done some research and put together a round-up of some of the fantastic charities in the UK raising awareness for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and how we can get involved in the conversation.

 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity. Their aim is to inform as many people as possible to know how they can reduce the risk, and to educate others. 

This year, the pandemic means there are additional challenges to attend a screening, and so they’ve put together the following cervical cancer campaigns to raise awareness and fundraise from the comfort of your own home: 

Set-up a virtual collection: collecting money through bucket collections has proved to be difficult over the last year, so Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust urge you to host your own virtual collection by setting up a JustGiving page – just £16 could fund a call to their Helpline, and £50 could fund their Ask the Expert service for a day providing expert information to those who need it most.

Join the conversation: The #SmearForSmear campaign on social media encourages women to share selfies and raise awareness by sharing a tip, a story or a reminder. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have lots of useful resources, including information about what to do if you can’t book a test at the moment too.

UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. 

www.jostrust.org.uk

Helpline: 0808 802 8000

LGBT Foundation 

The “Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?” campaign aimed to dispel the myths around lesbian and bisexual women and cervical screening, and raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women do need regular cervical screening tests.

LGBT Foundation on 0845 3 30 30 30, or email women@lgbt.foundation.

https://lgbt.foundation/screening

 

The Eve Appeal 

The Eve Appeal is the leading UK national charity funding research and raising awareness into the five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. The Eve Appeal recognise that uncertainties and fear can lead to people ignoring the letter that pops through the door inviting you to your cervical screening, and so they’ve put up a series of videos tackling the “Myths and Truths” surrounding cervical cancer: 

https://eveappeal.org.uk/gynaecological-cancers/cervical-cancer/ccpw2019/

020 7605 0100

We’re all in this together ladies, and so if you are overdue your cervical screening, give your GP a call to get in booked in, and TALK. Let’s get the conversation going, because in the words of RuPaul “if you can’t love yourself how you gonna love somebody else?” Can we get an amen up in here. 

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