Did you know that this week, from the 20–26th January 2020 is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, but what is it and how can you get involved?
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a national and annual campaign in the UK founded by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. It is dedicated to raising awareness of cervical cancer, cervical screenings and how you can help lower risk of developing cervical cancer, including getting the HPV vaccination.
What is cervical cancer?
It is a type of cancer that affects women and develops within the cervix. According to the NHS, almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the Human papillomovirus (HPV) which has over 100 varieties. You can find out more about HPV here.
What is a cervical screening?
Women are invited to attend a cervical screening also known as a smear test at their GP surgery every 3 years if you’re 25-49 years old and every 5 years if you are aged 50-64.
The cervical screening helps to identify abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix at an early stage, which in turn can help prevent cervical cancer. This screening can save thousands of women each year in the UK*.
It’s completely your decision whether you have a cervical screening or not, but it is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
According to Jo’s Trust cervical screening attendance is at its lowest in 21 years, this could be because women are worried about feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable or whether the test will hurt. To put your mind at ease you can learn more about what the screening involves here.
Did you know that you can help lower your risk of developing cervical cancer?
Looking after all aspects of your health is important and there are ways you can help prevent cervical cancer, these include:
- Having the HPV vaccine. Even if you have been vaccinated you should still attend your cervical screening appointments when you’re invited.
- Attending cervical screenings, these check for abnormal cells within your cervix which could develop into cancer, early detection is key.
- Give up smoking – smoking increases your risk of developing cervical cancer. We have a stop smoking service in some of our stores as well as stop smoking products online that can help you to quit.
Who are Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and how can I help?
Jo’s Trust offer support and information to those affected by cervical cancer or anyone wanting to learn more about the condition. They campaign to eliminate cervical cancer through their ambassadors, fundraising and campaigns. Find out how you can get involved here.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – A View From Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust