The local NHS is urging women to respond to their cervical screening invitation letters, and if they missed previous invites, to book an appointment at their GP practice.
Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England, and locally figures from last year saw 1 in 4 miss their screening appointment in the Horsham Mid-Sussex area.
Attending screening when invited can help protect against the risk of cervical cancer; it is estimated that cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives each year. However, cervical screening is at a 20 year low, with one in four women in the UK not attending their test.
Everyone with a cervix, which is most women and many trans people, between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited to attend cervical screening every three or five years depending on their age.
Attending regular screening, which only takes a few minutes can help stop cervical cancer before it starts by preventing potentially harmful cells from developing.
The ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign runs throughout March and empowers with the knowledge and tools to get screened. Advice on making the screening test more comfortable includes:
- Talk to your nurse – they are trained and experienced in how to make your test comfortable.
- Wear a loose skirt or dress, you may feel more covered during your appointment.
- Take a friend or family member with you if it will help you feel more comfortable.
Dr Minesh Patel, Clinical Chair for NHS Horsham Mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts.
“We are urging our residents to act when they get their cervical screening invitation letters and attend their appointment, and if they missed previous invites, to book an appointment at their GP practice now.”
For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening