Women and people with a cervix registered with a GP practice in Tameside and Glossop are being urged to attend cervical screening when invited.
Cervical screening is available to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 in England.
All eligible people who are registered with a GP (as female) automatically receive an invitation by mail.
To mark Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17-23 January), NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is raising awareness of cervical screening and potential results, and encouraging women and people with a cervix not to ignore their invitation.
In Tameside and Glossop, the latest available data for cervical screening attendance shows one in four women are not taking up the opportunity to be screened when invited.
Cervical screening isn’t always easy, and with COVID it can be even harder. NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG is encouraging sharing of tips and experiences to help others feel more able to attend.
However cervical cancer prevention doesn't stop at screening. 220,000 women and people with a cervix every year are told they have cervical cell changes after their screening, and many more given a HPV diagnosis. This can mean more tests and treatments, and for some it can be an incredibly hard time.
By sharing stories and tips during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, the aim is to make those facing an unexpected result know they aren’t alone.
Dr Lisa Gutteridge, Government Body GP Macmillan lead at NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, said: “Cervical cancer can be prevented through the HPV vaccine and the cervical screening ‘smear test’ which usually takes place every 3-5 years depending on your age and risk factors such as family and medical history. If you missed the HPV vaccine in school Year 8, you can have it free on the NHS up until your 25th birthday. Further information on cervical screening can be found at www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/cervicalcancer.”
Dr Asad Ali, co-chair at NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, said: “It's important to attend cervical screening tests when invited, even if you have been vaccinated for HPV, because the vaccine does not guarantee protection against cervical cancer. If you have not received your invitation to attend cervical screening please contact your GP practice – visit their website to complete an online consultation, or if you don’t have access to a digital device to go online, such as a smart phone, desktop computer or laptop, phone them to book an appointment.”
Samantha Dixon, Chief Executive at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We want everyone to have the support and facts they need to access cervical screening and deal with an unexpected result. Cervical screening can help stop cervical cancer before it starts so it’s an incredibly important test. Help raise awareness by sharing your story this week and show others they aren’t alone.”
Visit the NHS website for additional information on cervical cancer prevention https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-cancer/prevention/