Day 20 Cervical Cancer Week

In 2018, an estimated 570 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311 000 women died from the disease.

World Health Organisation

Cervical Cancer Prevention week is an opportunity to educate others about risks of cervical cancer.

Around 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year. That’s more than 8 cases diagnosed every day.

Cancer Research

Cervical cancer is a growth that occurs when abnormal cells develop in a woman’s cervix. The main cause is an infection transmitted through sexual contact called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). People are often unaware if they have contracted HPV, as it does not always show symptoms. It is a very common infection and many people will contract it within their lives, however the body often clears it without problems. Cervical cancer develops when HPV does not clear.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women.

World Health Organisation

There are ways to reduce the risk of infection, firstly practice safe sex! The HPV vaccination is another method, this protects against the most common types of HPV. In England, young people are offered the first vaccination at the age of 12 to 13. As well as Cervical Screening (Smear tests) from the age of 25, which tests for abnormal cervical cells that if untreated could lead to cervical cancer. It is important to go for a cervical screening because with early diagnosis, cervical cancer can be treated. Even if cervical cancer is detected late, it can be controlled with treatment.

Around my 25th birthday, I received a letter inviting me to attend a smear test. I will not lie, I was nervous. I did not know what to expect or what it would be like. I heard horror stories that just were not true. Anyway, I pulled myself together and booked an appointment. Being the first time I had gone for a smear test, it was a weird experience, but it was not half as bad as I had visioned in my head. Just recently I attended my second smear test after receiving a reminder that it had been 3 years since I had my last one. I felt much more relaxed and confident about it this time. The nurse and I had a chat about Covid-19 and the effects it has had on our little village and then it was over. Before I knew it I was out again. Couple of weeks later I received a letter to let me know my test came back negative!

We need to educate people on the risks, prevention and to encourage woman to get a smear, it is a normal thing to do. Don’t put your health at risk, it’s not as bad as it sounds. #Smearforsmear

Have a nice day.

Chloé

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