A study has revealed that nearly a third of those eligible for their cervical screening in 2020 – 2021 have not come forward and have missed their tests. Women who may be eligible are being urged to take care of their sexual health and not to miss their screening appointments.
Anyone who missed their last cervical screening is encouraged to book an appointment as a matter of urgency. 98% of cervical cancer cases are preventable according to data from Cancer Research with cervical cancer accounting for around 850 deaths every year in the UK. That is more than 2 people every day.
More than a third of women said that they ‘kept putting it off’, whilst 28% had never attended a cervical screening appointment as they were worried that it would be too painful. However, for those women that did attend their appointments, a huge 89% said that they were glad that they had attended.
What is Cervical Screening?
Cervical screening is also known as a smear test which checks the health of your cervix, the opening to your womb from your vagina. During the appointment, a soft plastic instrument called a speculum is gently inserted into your vagina to see the cervix more clearly. Then a small brush is used to take a small sample of cells from the cervix. The whole process is normally over in a couple of minutes.
This test doesn’t test for cancer but instead tests for the sample for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. If any abnormalities are found then they can be treated before they develop into cervical cancer. If no signs of HPV are found you do not need any further investigations other than your routine screening.
Importance of Screening to Protect Against Cervical Cancer
Ultimately it is your choice to go for your cervical screening appointment, however, it is important to understand that cervical screening is one of the most effective ways to protect you from cervical cancer as it can detect any harmful changes early.
Looking After Your Sexual Health
We understand that having a cervical smear test can initially be daunting and can feel embarrassing which may end up causing you to put it off. But having your screening not only ensures you are looking after your sexual health, but it could also help to save your life.
If you are keen to book your cervical screening appointment, The Mayfair GP can offer cervical screening in a comfortable, discreet environment – including in the safety and security of your own home. We are also able to offer female doctors to perform the screening which may help to put your mind at ease and help you relax, to make it more comfortable for you.
Once your screening is complete, we are able to process your results quickly and in the event of any abnormalities, we can perform further investigations quickly and thoroughly. If required, we also have the option to refer you to a specialist for further consultations if needed.