A hospital sister has spoken out about the importance of smear tests ahead national Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which is running from 12-18 June.
Younger women in particular, are being targeted because they are less likely to take up the offer of a smear test, noted Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“Women who don’t attend are the most vulnerable”
The trust also highlighted that, in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, one in four women do not attend their routine cervical screening appointments.
Sandra Nevett, sister on the gynaecology outpatient clinic at the trust, said: “Some younger women who have had the HPV vaccination might think they don’t need a smear test because they are protected but that is not necessarily the case.
“Women who don’t attend are the most vulnerable,” she said. “Usually there are no symptoms with cervical cancer, so it is only by having a smear test that any abnormal cells on the cervix can be found before they develop into cancer.”
She added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to urge all ladies from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to take up their all-important cervical screening appointment, for five minutes out of your day – it could save your life.”
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals will be launching a social media campaign highlighting the importance of attending cervical screening appointments and signposting to the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Fear or Smear website.
All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years.
Women who have missed their cervical screening appointment are encouraged to contact their local GP to book an appointment.