Cervical Screening Awareness

Don’t Delay Get Screened Today!

The NHS encourages women between the ages of 25 and 64 years of age to attend their regular cervical screening program with their local GP.  However, the coronavirus pandemic has been affecting screening and colposcopy referrals and has meant that some people have been experiencing delays due to a backlog of appointments.

According to Cancer Research UK https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/cervical-cancer/ there are around 3,200 cervical cancer cases in the UK every year.  Which is more than 8 every day (2015-2017).  Cervical cancer is also the 14th most common form of cancer. Incidence rates for cervical cancer are the highest in females aged between 30-34years (2015-2017).  And is more common in white females than in Asian females. Every year around 520 cases of cervical cancer are linked with deprivation.

Regular Screening Saves Lives

Regular Cervical Screening is the best way to identify any abnormal changes within the cells of the cervix. The NHS invites women aged 25-49 for screening every 3 years.  Women who are aged 50-64 are invited every 5 years.  Women over 65 are also eligible for screening, especially if they have had abnormal tests. So, if you are invited for a test from your GP then it’s very important that you go.

Cervical Cancer Vaccination

According to https://eveappeal.org.uk/ nearly all squamous cervical cancers are caused by a common sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). The UK government have been vaccinating children at an early age (before they become sexually active) and become exposed to the HPV virus. The NHS cervical cancer vaccination programme uses the vaccine called Gardasil. Gardasil protects against 4 types of HPV, which includes the 2 strains responsible for most cervical cancers in the UK which are HPV16 & HPV18. The vaccine also helps to prevent against getting genital warts.  Although the HPV vaccine can help to significantly reduce the risks of cervical cancer it does not guarantee that you will not develop the condition.  So, it is extremely important that you attend regular cervical screening tests to ensure that they do not develop the condition.

Be aware of unusual symptoms!

Although cervical screening usually identifies most abnormal cell changes, it is not 100% accurate.  So, if you have any unusual symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, pain or discomfort during sex or an unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge, then you should make an immediate appointment with your GP.