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Don't Ignore Your Cervical Screening Invite!

Cervical Screening Awareness Week is an annul event that is this year observed from 17th - 23rd June and was launched to encourage those eligible for screening to respond to their cervical screening invitation letters and book an appointment. It is shown that two women die each day from cervical cancer in England. A screening test aims to pick up changes early that could develop into cervical cancer if left untreated and is one of the most preventable cancers.

Screening helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV which causes nearly all cervical cancers. Just because you have HPV it does not mean you have cervical cancer – it’s a common virus that most people will get at some point in their lives. This is why it is so important to follow up your invite and book an appointment, as its the best way to monitor cervical cell changes that over time could potentially lead to cervical cancer.

The NHS cervical screening programme invites women between 25 and 64 for cervical screening. Cervical screening is also for anyone in this age range with a cervix, such as trans men and non-binary people assigned female at birth. You get an invite every 3 to 5 years depending on where you live and your age. You need to be registered with a GP to get your screening invitations. Currently, 1 in 4 do not attend their cervical screening test!

Some of the common symptoms of cervical cancer can include:

  • Vaginal bleeding unusual for you

  • Changes in vaginal discharge

  • Pain or discomfort during sex

  • Pain in your lower back or pelvis

If you experience these symptoms, or notice anything unusual, make an appointment with your GP or practice nurse and get your symptoms looked at. Whilst these symptoms can be embarrassing, your GP or practice nurse will understand. Many conditions can cause these symptoms, and most of them are much more common than cervical cancer. But it is important to get your symptoms checked out. The earlier cervical cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

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