Local AM supports Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Dawn Bowden AM is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

This week Dawn Bowden AM and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are raising awareness about how women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer. Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented and one day become a disease of the past.

Cervical screening (smear tests) are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV vaccine offered in schools. Yet cervical screening uptake is at an all time low with one in four women not booking a potentially life-saving test.

This week Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published new research which has found young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71%), vulnerable (75%) and embarrassed (81%) at the thought of going. A worrying two thirds (67%) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test (full details are here: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/node/1076499).

Dawn Bowden said “The test rates in communities like Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney can be lower for a wide range of cancer tests and I am encouraging people to take their smear test£.

“So I am delighted to be working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment.”

Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “We are delighted to have Dawn Bowden AM’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening.  Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy. We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.”

Notes

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 21-27 January 2019 and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s smear test awareness campaign #SmearForSmear is running during the week www.jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear.

About cervical cancer:

  • The majority (99.7%) of cervical cancers are caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which causes changes to the cervical cells
  • 220,000 UK women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year
  • Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 890 women lose their lives every year
  • Around 5 million UK women are invited to cervical screening each year yet one in four do not attend
  • Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years
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