This Cervical Cancer Prevention week, 20-26 January, people and charities spread awareness by joining the social media movement #smearforsmear.
They try to get the facts out about HPV and smear tests and encourage women to go to their cervical screening.
According to Jo’s Trust, in the last five years 3.7 million women who would be eligible for the potentially life-saving screening are putting themselves at risk by not attending their screening.
Hannah Travis, medical negligence solicitor, lists many reasons for this including embarrassment, age, cultural norms and lack of awareness.“Just timing and life get in the way. “It doesn’t take long, but actually trying to get hold of that appointment initially and trying to get the time to fiddle around work and family life to attend can be really quite tricky sometimes. “So we really need to make it easier for women to attend,” she said.
Another survey by Jo’s Trust suggests that 39% of the women who missed or delayed their appointment said that they didn’t find it easy to leave work to attend the appointment.
A total of 26% and 35% of these women said that if their company and GP surgery were more flexible, they would be more likely to take up their cervical screening invitation.“There’s so many different barriers in the way, but there’s also so many simple ways. “Just by having a little bit more information goes a really long way stressing the importance of screen tests really,” Hannah said.