With Cervical Screening Awareness Week currently underway (12-17 June), members of Lancashire Care’s Immunisation Team are calling on women to get regularly screened.
Cervical Screening Awareness Week runs from 12 to 17 June and the occasion is being used to remind people that cervical cancer can kill. Regular screening and vaccinating young girls against human papillomavirus (HPV), however, helps save thousands of lives every year.
Pearl Greenwood, Immunisation Team Leader at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We advise women to undergo cervical screening which is not a test for cancer; this is also known as a smear test and we advise them to undergo this every three to five years. If these abnormalities are left untreated they could lead to cancer of the cervix. We know that, on average, cervical screening helps save the lives of approximately 4,500 women in England every year.
“The importance of being vaccinated against HPV which causes 99% of all cervical cancers cannot be stressed enough. We also strongly advise all school girls to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the virus. Our teams have already visited year 8 and 9 girls in schools in Lancashire to get them vaccinated. However, if you child is educated outside of mainstream schools, then there is no reason that your child should not be vaccinated as we run a flexible service. Most forms of HPV go unnoticed because they are symptomless so prevention is the best form of protection. A simple injection protects you for life and could save your life.”
Every day in the UK, 8 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer with 3 dying as a result. It is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under. Despite this, more than 20 percent of women invited for screening do not attend. Cervical screening can prevent around 45 percent of cervical cancer cases in women in their 30s, rising with age to 75 percent in women in their 50s and 60s who attend regularly.
The Immunisation Team also vaccinates Year 10 and 11 boys and girls against Meningitis ACWY and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and polio). For more information, please call the HPV Immunisation Team on 01772 644499 or on 01282 628405.