In January, during #CervicalCancerPreventionWeek, the Be Cancer Safe Rotherham and Barnsley team were highlighting the importance of regular cervical screening, knowing how cervical cancer can be prevented and how you can reduce your risk.
There are around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around nine every day. Cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting HPV and treating abnormal cell changes in the cervix. 80% of us get HPV, so why is there so much stigma around the virus? The team have been smearing the myths and supporting the #SmearForSmear campaign to help @JoTrust share the facts. Visit www.jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear for further information.
Who can have cervical screening?
In the UK, if you are registered as a female with a GP surgery you are invited:
- Every three years between ages 25 and 49
- Every five years between ages 50 and 64
How you can reduce your risk of cervical cancer?
Be Cancer Safe want to ensure that all women and people with a cervix know how cervical cancer can be prevented. This means:
- Attending cervical screening when invited
- Knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if experiencing any
- Take up the HPV vaccination at school if aged 11 to 13
- If you miss having it in school, you can get it from your GP until you are 25 years old
- Knowing where to find support and further information
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
There are some recognised symptoms associated with cervical cancer that you should be aware of, these include:
- Abnormal bleeding: during or after sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post-menopausal bleeding: if you are not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have stopped it for six weeks or more
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower back pain
What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms or are concerned about any new symptom you should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. You should report these symptoms even if you have recently had cervical screening (smear test) that came back as normal. Remember, these symptoms can be associated with many other conditions that are not cancer related.
Remember — early detection and treatment can prevent 75% of cervical cancers developing! Follow Be Cancer Safe Rotherham and Barnsley on Facebook: @BeCancerSafeRB or Twitter: @BeCancerSafe_RB