Women across the Fylde coast have been urged by local health bosses to do their best to prevent cervical cancer.
National charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has today (Monday 22 January 2018) launched Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, with the theme of ‘reduce your risk’.
And doctors across the Fylde coast have joined the call for women in the area to:
- Attend cervical screening when invited;
- Know the symptoms of cervical cancer and seek medical advice if experiencing any;
- Take up the HPV vaccination if aged 11 to 18;
- Talk to friends and family to ensure they know how they can reduce their risk;
- Know where to find support and further information.
Thornton GP Dr Felicity Guest, a clinical member of the NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body, said: “Cervical cancer can be prevented but still nine women are diagnosed with the disease every day in the UK.
“Cervical screening, or the smear test, is one of the best ways a woman can reduce her risk of cervical cancer. It’s free on the NHS, yet in the UK, one out of four women do not attend their screening when invited.
“Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.”
All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening every three years if they are aged between 25 and 49 and every five years for those between 50 and 64.
And for anyone who struggles to attend an appointment during the day due to work or childcare commitments can book an evening appointment with the extended access service, based in Freckleton, Fleetwood and Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, by calling their GP practice.
According to figures from Cancer Research UK, across Fylde and Wyre last year 76.3 per cent of women aged 25 to 64 attending their cervical screening when required. This means one in four women did not attend their screening.
In Blackpool, the figure stands at 69.8 per cent.
Cervical screening checks the health of the cells of the cervix. Most results show that everything is normal, but for around one in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes.
Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own. But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous.
About 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.
For more information on cervical screening, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/