Each year around five million women in the UK are invited for cervical screening (aka smear test), and every 1 in 3 women between the ages of 25 and 29 years old, do not take up their smear test invitation... and I want to ask you, if you have been invited to take this test - why turn it down? It doesn't hurt, it only takes a few minutes and it could save your life!
What is a smear test? A cervical screening test (also known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina. Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer. Although a cervical screening test is not a test to find cancer, it is a screening test to detect changes to the cells of the cervix, which are called cervical abnormalities or pre-cancer.
A shocking 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in UK each year. Regular cervical screening provides a high degree of protection against developing cervical cancer and it is offered free on the NHS. It is estimated that early detection and treatment through cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing in the UK but not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
Smear is not a nice word, but you know what's a worse word? Cancer.
Preventable is a great word though, because that's what cervical cancer is. It's preventable. But with more and more women not attending their smear tests, cervical cancer is on the rice, and it shouldn't be.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old, and 8 women alone of diagnosed every day in the UK alone. Yet... Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented!
With love, Alisha Valerie. x