12 Jun 2018

Health professionals in St Helens are urging women to attend for their cervical smear as cervical screening awareness week launches (11-17th June).

Cervical screening uptake in England is at a 19 year low with uptake being particularly low in younger (aged 25-29) and older women (aged 60-64), and with 1 in 4 women not taking up their screening invitation.

Uptake in St Helens is 74%, higher than the North West and England.

Women who are registered with a GP and are aged 25-49 are invited for a cervical smear every 3 years, and women aged 50-64 every 5 years.

Dr Paul Rose, St Helens GP Cancer Lead said, “Cervical screening saves lives; please don’t ignore your screening invitation. A smear test takes just a few minutes and nine out of ten cervical screening results come back normal.”

Sue Forster, Director of Public Health for St Helens Council said, “We know that many women feel uncomfortable about the tests, but being screened regularly means any problems can be found early and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing. I would encourage all women who are eligible to take up their smear test invitation and for those who have missed a smear, to contact their GP to arrange an appointment.”

Cervical cancer is often symptomless. However the most common symptoms are:

- Abnormal bleeding during or after sexual intercourse or between periods

- Post menopausal bleeding

- Unusual and/or unpleasant vaginal discharge

- Discomfort or pain during sex

- Lower back pain

For further information please speak to your GP or practice nurse or visit the Jo’s Trust website https://www.jostrust.org.uk/