Cervical cancer prevention week is drawing to a close.
Luckily for me, I am never one to miss appointments. I have a vivid imagination and am prone to erring on the side of caution. Just as well. Around 12 years ago, when I was 22 years old, I got the results from my first screening test. I remember ripping open the envelope expecting it all to be ok. The results were abnormal. What? Me? Cervical cancer was knocking on my door.
I didn’t want to make a fuss so I told a couple of my friends and my boyfriend at the time. I tried to play it down but I was scared. I was young and naive. I blamed myself.
Thankfully it was caught in the very early stages and I was given a small, routine operation. Had I put the awkward test off for a couple of years, like a few of my friends did back then, things may have been very different. I feel extremely lucky.
Things are better these days for young women as The HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine is available. HPV is a very common infection. It’s also a major cause of cervical cancer.
Sadly, over the years I have been at funerals of loved ones taken by other types of cancer far too soon. If only routine tests and vaccines had been available for them to catch it.
1 in 4 women in the UK do not attend this potentially life-saving test. My plea is that you are not one of them. Yes, these things can be a little awkward but the test is over in a flash. Don’t miss routine appointments. They exist for a reason. Life is so precious. Cherish it.
- Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
- 3 women lose their lives from the disease every day
- Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35
- 75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (smear tests)
- However 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test