Smear test: ‘If you leave it, it could affect your chances of being a mother’
Over Six-hundred thousand women could miss their routine cervical cancer screening during the pandemic, the #SmearforSmear campaign is trying to change that.
A cancer trust has launched an online campaign online this week to raise awareness that even during a pandemic, smear tests are as still essential.
Jo’s Cancer Cervical Cancer Trust has launched the #SmearforSmear campaign which encourages both men and women to smear their lipstick and then upload a picture online to raise awareness that even during a pandemic it is still essential to get a smear test.
“I’m very lucky to have my daughter so people should think about the risks of not getting pregnant as if you leave it, it could affect your chances of being a mother,” said student nurse Nataly Morgan.
More than 600,000 women could miss their routine cervical cancer screening, which is a severe problem as smear tests save around 5,000 lives each year.
HPV primary screening is an incredibly reliable way of testing the sample of cells taken during the smear test and can correctly identify 9 in 10 cell changes. So, it is vital that those with cervixes get the test done.
Research by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust during the pandemic has found that 32% of women would much prefer to take a HPV self-sample instead of having a smear test by a clinician. This would increase to 62% if it were reliable and easy to take.
Rebecca Shoosmith, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Self-sampling would be a game-changer. We have a roadmap to eliminate cervical cancer, and self-sampling is a key part of this, one that will save lives.”
What is a smear test?
Cervical Screening is a test that helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), and if you have HPV cervical cell changes (abnormal cells).
The test is a completely free health test on the NHS as part of the national cervical screening programme. It does not test for cancer, but it can help prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes.
In the UK, you will automatically be invited for a smear test if you have a cervix, are aged between the ages of 25 to 64 and registered as female with a GP surgery. Trans men, non-binary and intersex people may also have a cervix.
“If girlies can get waxed then they should be able to get a smear it’s like a maintenance check on your health which could save your life,” said Nataly Morgan.
Even during a pandemic, cervical screening is still vital and lifesaving. To read more on cervical cancer and smear tests, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trusts website is an excellent resource for that.