Publish date: 5 March 2019

The new @PHE_uk Cervical Screening campaign #CervicalScreeningSavesLives launches today. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts by preventing potentially harmful cells from developing and with regular screening, 83% of cervical cancer could be prevented. The campaign is encouraging women aged between 25-64, not to ignore their screening invite.
The new PHE campaign provides practical information about how to make the test more comfortable and gives reassurance to women who may be fearful of finding out they have cancer, that screening is not a test for cancer. 
Research shows we need to:

  • Highlight the risks of cervical cancer
  • Highlight the preventative benefits of the often misunderstood screening test
  • Encourage women of all ages to respond to their screening invitation
  • Encourage women to consider booking an appointment if they have missed previous invitations
  • Tackle issues of fear and embarassment

Across England, two women die every day of cervical cancer and many of these deaths could have been prevented if they had attended regular smear tests.  In the North West the screening is rate is way below the national standard of 80% at 71.8%.

Deputy Director from the Public Health England North West Centre, Dr Rebecca Wagstaff said: "It is very worryig that 1 in 4 women don't attend their screening appointments and particularly as cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women under the age of 35.  I would urge all women that when they receive their invitation letter to make sure they get their appointment booked."
Top five tips for cervical screening:

  • Speak to your nurse or GP before attending, especially the first time
  • Take someone with you 
  •  Wearing a skirt might make you feel more covered
  • You can request a female nurse or GP
  • Ask for special arrangements to be provided if needed, just ask before you go.

The NHS website includes information on the screening procedure and includes a simple video:

Watch the screening procedure video on the NHS website