14th June - 20th June 2021
This week is #CervicalScreeningAwarenessWeek, a campaign run by Jo'sTrust to talk about the risks of cervical cancer, reduce confusion about the human papillomavirus (HPV) & learn about how to reduce risks and prevent the illness.
In our field of fertility, we are surprised at the number of clients we talk who have never been for their cervical screening examination, more commonly known as the smear test.
Anyone born with a cervix should be invited for their first cervical screening at the age of 25, with repeat tests every three years up to the age of 49, and every 5 years between the ages of 50 and 64. These tests are critical for identifying unusual cells that could lead to cervical cancer.
Astonishingly, around a quarter of these invitations are left unresponded to. Of course the pandemic put a spanner in the works for some people attending appointments, but as restrictions ease, let's promote awareness of the need for cervical screening.
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, over 96% of people with cervical cancer will survive their disease for one year or more. Compare this to a 50% survival rate if the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage. So please don't ignore those letters from your GP!
With our communities becoming more and more diverse, for some, it may not yet be as simple as responding to an invitation from your doctor's surgery. It is critical that these tests are offered to anyone with a cervix and that we recognize the difficulties faced by trans- individuals, surrounding this issue. We invite you to watch the video below, documenting the experience of a transgender man in organising and attending his first smear test.