Every year the wonderful people that work at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust run an awareness week, much like many other charities. And this week happens to be Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (19th-25th Jan 2014).
They asked me to be part of their brilliant Put Yourself In The Picture Campaign – basically trying to spread the word and getting women to ‘pledge’ on social media that they will go for their smear when it’s due.
Despite MUCH better knowledge and information being available in the last few years, since the sad death of Jade Goody, and the amazing work by Jo’s Trust – a whopping ONE in FIVE women still don’t go to their smear test. That figure rises to ONE in THREE for women aged 25-29. This is despite it being the most common cancer in women under 35. (Source: Jo’s Trust)
I just don’t get it. It’s something I feel really passionate about. A routine smear a few years back caught some early cell changes in my body – and as a result I was closely monitored every six months at my hospital for over two years. And NUMEROUS friends and women I know have had the same thing. Yes it was scary getting that initial letter but had I not bothered to go to that smear, and not followed up my appointments, who knows how different my story could be? We are so lucky in this country that we have such a vigilant and brilliant screening service – I just want to urge young women to NOT miss their appointments.
If you haven’t been for a smear because you’re unsure or a little bit scared, don’t be. It’s no where near as painful as a wax!! The nurses always make you feel so comfortable as well. But more importantly it could ultimately save your life. Oh and none of it is anything to be ashamed of.
There is tonnes of information over at Jo’s Trust – have a look and I’m sure they’ll have every question you may have already answered.
And why not join in with there Put Yourself In The Picture Campaign ….
And next time your reminder for your smear comes through the post, don’t ignore it. That ten minutes of your time could be a life changer