Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women globally!
This week (22nd -28th January) is cervical cancer prevention week which typically takes place each year in the last week of January. The primary goal of this week is to raise awareness and to encourage women to attend cervical screenings (smear tests) and provide information about HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccinations.
Cervical cancer prevention week was established to honour the memory of Jade Goody, a well-known British reality TV star, who passed away from cervical cancer at a young age. Her story highlighted the importance of early detection and prevention. This week brings attention to the lives that have been impacted by cervical cancer, find solutions, and remember those that we have lost.
In the UK – 1 in 4 people don’t attend screenings.
In the UK, around 3,200 women are diagnosed every year with cervical cancer, with over 800 losing their lives. However, the UK has the tools to prevent cervical cancer. We have a wide-reaching HPV vaccination programme and a highly effective cervical screening and colposcopy service. These tools are preventing more cases than ever before, and we also have the mental health support with charities such as Macmillan and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Two women die everyday from cervical cancer in England and a further 9 women are given a life changing diagnosis BUT cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and getting screened can stop it before it has even started! So, make sure you get your HPV vaccinations and you attend your smear tests because it could save your life!
How can you get involved?
- Share information – by sharing information about cervical cancer, it spreads awareness and may help encourage other people to get their smear test or go and get checked out.
- Attend a screening – if you have received your invitation to get a screening and have put it off or life has gotten in the way then now is the time to go.
- Support HPV vaccinations – the vaccine is usually offered to children aged 12-13 years old and people at higher risk from HPV so by making sure these groups get their vaccination it can save so many lives!