Cervical Screening Awareness Week
To coincide with Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which runs from 12 – 18 June 2017, GPs in Newham are calling on women to attend a cervical screening test when they are invited by their GP surgery.
In England, women aged between 25 and 64 are eligible for a free NHS cervical screening every three to five years. This screening, also known as a smear test, detects changes in the cells around the cervix.
The symptoms of cervical cancer aren’t always obvious, and it may not cause any symptoms at all until an advanced stage. That’s why regular screening is so important, as it will detect any changes. It’s estimated that regular screening tests can help to prevent around 75% of all cervical cancer cases. Despite this, around one in four women do not take up their invitation.
You need to be registered with a GP to receive a cervical screening invitation and all of your contact details must be correct and up to date.
Dr Prakash Chandra, chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP, said:
“Detecting cervical cancer early can save your life. That’s why it’s so important that women make an appointment with their GP when they receive their screening invitation.
“Although cervical cancer often has no noticeable symptoms, there are some symptoms that can indicate any problems. If you’re experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding, abnormal discharge, discomfort during sex or lower back pain, this should be investigated by your GP.
“These symptoms can have a range of causes, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but the sooner you see someone and a diagnosis is made, the better the chance of treatment being successful.
“We recognise that it can be an embarrassing subject, but if you’re worried about your health or if you’re due to attend a cervical smear test, make an appointment with your local GP sooner rather than later.”
For more information about Cervical Screening Awareness Week and how you can make a difference, please visit the Jo’s Trust Cervical Cancer website.
More information about cervical cancer signs and symptoms is available here.