Protect yourself from cervical cancer

21 January 2014

The start of a new year is a good time to take a fresh look at your health and wellbeing, and if you are a woman it’s also an opportunity to make sure that you are doing enough to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

The start of a new year is a good time to take a fresh look at your health and wellbeing, and if you are a woman it’s also an opportunity to make sure that you are doing enough to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2014 runs from 19 to 25 January, and is a reminder that regular screening is one of the most important ways in which you can help to prevent the disease.

Although cervical cancer is preventable if picked up early through effective screening, many women still know little about the symptoms and what to look out for.

Reducing the number of cervical cancer cases and increasing the number of cervical smear tests being taken up by women aged 25 to 64 years-old are key priorities for the NHS in Hounslow.

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at West Middlesex University Hospital Miss Suraiya Abdi said: “Women really need to know that cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Having regular cervical smear tests at your GP practice offers the best protection against it.

“NHS screening is quick and free, and your GP will contact you directly to invite you in for a test. If you’ve missed a recent test, don’t worry. Just contact your GP and arrange another.”

Women aged between 25 and 49-years-old are invited to have a cervical smear test at their GP surgery every three years, and for women aged between 50 and 64-years-old, every five years.

Cervical cancer can have no symptoms in its early stages. The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding. If you have it, see your GP as soon as you can. If you are under 25-years-old, you will not be automatically invited for a cervical smear test, but if you have an unexpected bleeding, go and see your GP as soon as you can.

To find out more about preventing cervical cancer, go to the website www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/cervical