This week is cervical cancer screening awareness week June 13-19.
We took a trip around North Tees with health promotion lead and HCA Lisa Tomlinson, a cervical cancer survivor from main outpatients, asking female staff to pledge that they would attend their screening when invited.
Around one million women (1 in 4) fail to attend their cervical screening every year, this increases to 1 in 3 in women aged 25-29.
Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
Every day 9 women face a cervical cancer diagnosis and 3 women lose their lives. Early detection and treatment offered as a result of cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.
Among women who work who have missed or delayed appointments:
• Over a third don’t find it easy to leave work in order to attend
• Over a quarter would be more encouraged to attend if their company was more flexible
• One in three 25-29 year olds, where screening attendance is at its lowest, are too embarrassed to talk to their employers about screening.
Lisa was diagnosed 9 years ago with cervical cancer and is very passionate about screening and raising awareness. Although Lisa’s story is very different, no two cancers are the same and the earlier you are diagnosed, the greater the chance of beating the disease. If you have your test and it comes back abnormal, it doesnt necessarily mean you have cancer. You could have cervical ‘changes’ that will develop into cancer if left untreated or you dont attend regular screening. Whilst the test can be embarrassing or slightly painful, it can also save your life.
Staff took part today in the Smear for Smear campaign ran by Jo’s Trust, the leading cervical cancer charity.
Wearing your lipstick, you ‘smear for smear’ and pledge to take up your screening when invited and take a #SmearForSmear selfie!
Lisa said, “I would encourage any female within in the age range for screening to attend when invited, make that five minutes out of your day count.”