Don't Fear the Smear: Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

25 January 2017

Written by Lauren Francis
for Daily Focal

This week marks Jo’s Trust #SmearforSmear campaign in line with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Recent figures show that the number of women attending their smear appointments has fallen to an all-time low, but what is the reason behind this drop?

Let’s face it any woman over the age of 25 and who has had a smear will agree it is not the most pleasant of experiences. If it is your first there is a lot of unknown and probable horror stories that you may have heard. If it’s not your first and you haven’t had the best experience beforehand, there is quite a bit of apprehension on whether it will be a repeat performance. Throw in the added factor of our hectic lifestyles, ’I’m too busy I’ll book it next week’ or ‘I’ll be fine to miss it’, time soon ticks on.

We do have the choice, after all it is an invite you receive in the post, and you may think that because it is not forced upon us you don't need to go. However for five minutes of un-comfortability I think it is completely worth it. At the end of the day, early detection of abnormalities is key and this simple free test can save your life.

As it is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week here are some top tips.

  • Read up on it. Half the battle is the unknown so find out exactly what to expect. Look at Jo’s Trust and NHS Choices. 

  • Ask Questions. If you have any questions whatsoever just ask. You won’t sound silly and it will give you the reassurance you need.

  • Talk about it. Even if you are okay with having the smear test done, if your friend or loved one is scared, unsure or doesn’t want to go then chat about it and encourage them to attend. 

  • If you don't feel comfortable with having the test done by your usual health professional then it is perfectly okay to request someone else. 

  • They’ve seen it all before. Whomever your health professional carrying out the smear is they have seen it all before and are not going to judge. 

  • Try to relax. This is a difficult one, it is pretty hard to relax whilst it is happening and you will want to shout how the hell am I supposed to relax whilst you are doing that? However try and focus on something in the room, talk to the nurse / GP about anything you like, or take someone with you for support.

We'd love to know...
Do you attend your smear?
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1 comment

  1. Anonymous25/1/17

    A smear test saved my life. YOU MUST DO IT. I had to have hysterectomy in end but it was the smear test I had to thank.
    EXCELLENT BLOG by the way.



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