Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Arfon Siân Gwenllian has lent her backing to a campaign raising awareness of the importance of cervical smear tests to coincide with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Siân Gwenllian AM joined Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to raise awareness of how women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer.
Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented and one day become a disease of the past.
Cervical screening (smear tests) are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV vaccine offered in schools. Yet cervical screening uptake is at an all-time low with one in four women not booking a potentially life-saving test.
Siân Gwenllian AM said,
‘I am delighted to be working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.’
‘Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment.’
‘Women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer in a number of ways; through attending regular cervical screening, being symptoms aware and knowing the risk factors.’
‘I would therefore encourage women in my Arfon constituency to get themselves tested.’
Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Robert Music said,
‘We are delighted to have Siân’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening. Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy.’
‘We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.’
This week Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published new research which has found young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71%), vulnerable (75%) and embarrassed (81%) at the thought of going. A worrying two thirds (67%) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test (full details are here: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/node/1076499).