DIDN’T YOU HEAR? IT’S THE WEEK OF THE SMEAR!
What would you normally do in five minutes? Pop the kettle on? Text a friend? Update your Facebook status?
This year, NHS England in West Yorkshire is asking all eligible women aged 25-64 to take five minutes to undergo something which could save their lives – a cervical screening test.
With Cervical Screening Awareness Week (Monday 15 to Sunday 21 June) approaching, there’s never a better time to ensure this is the year for women to make sure they take up the offer of a cervical screening. With research showing that 22% of women in England are not attending a cervical screening, NHS England is emphasising the importance of attending to spot the signs early.
Latest research from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has shown that the number of women attending a screening across West Yorkshire has decreased. In Leeds, 79.5% of women were screened in 2013 compared to 78.4% in 2014.
NHS England in West Yorkshire is working locally with NHS partners and local authorities and is supporting the cervical cancer charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to ensure that 2015 is the year for women to take the positive step and help to stop cervical cancer in its tracks.
Dr Yasmin Khan – Associate Medical Director, Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
“We understand that any type of medical testing can be daunting, but a cervical screening test is a prime example of how a quick, painless test can save your life.
“We would like to encourage all women aged 25-64 who are eligible for the test to take up the offer and ensure they stay healthy.”
Cervical screening is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix - the entrance to the womb. While some women may find the procedure embarrassing, for most it’s quick and painless.
Robert Music, Chief Executive Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Every day we see the devastating impact a cervical cancer diagnosis has on women and their family and friends. For those who were diagnosed after delaying their routine screening, knowing that cervical cancer could have been prevented is tragic.
“The statistics showing that screening uptake in West Yorkshire has decreased for every age group are very concerning. It is estimated that the cervical screening programme saves around 4,500 lives in England every year. I urge all eligible women in the area to take up their screening invitation when invited, it could save their life.”
To find out more about Cervical Screening Awareness Week visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website http://www.jostrust.org.uk/.
Note to editors
- NHS England is the body which leads the NHS in England. Its main aim is to improve the health outcomes for people in England, and it sets the overall direction and priorities for the NHS as a whole.
- For further information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0113 825 3231.
- Further information on cervical screening can be found on the NHS Choices website.
- Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.www.jostrust.org.uk