Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: The importance of attending screening

shutterstock_162825059 breast cancerRoyal Surrey County Hospital is reminding women of the importance of attending cervical screening as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK every day, and three women will lose their lives to the disease.

Due to screening and the HPV vaccination programme, this form of cancer is now largely preventable.

Despite this, one in five women aged between 25 and 64 years do not take up their invitation for tests every three to five years.

Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer; it’s a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix.

Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around one in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Women who have an abnormal result are referred to the Trust’s Colposcopy team for further investigation.

Fiona Graham, Colposcopy lead nurse, said: “Being regularly screened 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.

“The cervical screening tests normally take place at your GP surgery and are performed by the practice nurse.

“It takes around five minutes and although some may find it uncomfortable and embarrassing it could save their life.

“We see around six women a day at our clinics and work hard to make it as positive experience as possible.

“For many of the women we see the cells will go back to normal on their own without any treatment, but in some cases they will be removed to stop them becoming cancerous.”

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs until Sunday.

©2017 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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