Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is designed to bust the myths and fight the stigma through Jo’s Trust’s #SmearForSmear campaign. Local MP Chris Elmore has thrown his support firmly behind the campaign.
Cervical cancer is almost wholly preventable, and yet, because of many of the common myths around the HPV infection that can cause it, many women do not go for their smear tests regularly. Research in November 2018 showed that going for a smear test in the UK had reached a 21-year low.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“Women are needlessly at risk of cervical cancer because of the low level of smear tests being attended in the UK. There are many misconceptions that are affecting women’s health. Thanks to this week and the charities involved, awareness of the importance of smear tests and the myths around the cancer are being rightly exposed.”
Women should still get a smear test regularly even if they’ve had the vaccine against HPV – human papillomavirus. The vaccine gives a high protection against it, but it doesn’t provide complete protection. Doctors and charities also want to reassure women that, although the test can be uncomfortable for a very short time, it is not painful for most women.
“80 per cent of us will get at least one type of HPV in our lives and usually, there are no symptoms and are taken care of by our immune systems.
“The work that Jo’s Trust and others are doing to raise awareness of these problems really is invaluable. I would highly recommend taking a look at their website for further information, help and support.”