Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%; however a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer every 3 hours. The main reason for this change is the increased use of smear tests, which can find changes before cancer develops and can also find cervical cancer early – when it is easiest to cure. This week is cervical cancer awareness week, and many may have heard of the ‘smear for smear’ campaign, aimed to encourage women to have the life-saving smear tests.
- Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
- 3 women lose their lives from the disease every day
- Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35
- 75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (smear tests)
- However 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test.
The Smear for Smear campaign from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust urges women to smear lipstick on to their faces, take a selfie and share it on social media with #SmearforSmear and @JoTrust. They are encouraged to nominate others to do the same and asked to highlight the importance of smear tests to combat cervical cancer. The charity says cervical screening saves 5,000 lives a year yet one in five women who are eligible to attend do not take up their invitation. For young women aged 25 to 29 this rises to one in three.
-Hannah Clayton, year 12