Screening is normally normal so don’t put it off

Image of two women with words saying: detecting cervical cancer early can make all the difference.

Screening is normally normal so don’t put it off

Cervical screening awareness week

This week is cervical screening awareness week, running from 17 – 23 June. It’s an annual reminder of how important – in fact, lifesaving - screening can be.
According to Macmillan, nearly one in four people don’t attend their cervical screening (also known as smear tests), often because they are worried, even though we know that most screening tests are normal

Katy’s story

I know from personal experience how important it is to go for your test; it probably saved my life!

I had an abnormal test result, so I had to go for a follow up test called a colposcopy – this is a test which gets a better look at the cells in the cervix

Even though I felt nervous about going for this test, I still went. When I got there, the specialist chatted with me beforehand and explained what would happen. This was very reassuring. While it was a bit uncomfortable and awkward, it was quick and painless, and the staff were there to hold my hand and chat to me throughout

In my case, I did need treatment. The team I met at my colposcopy carried it out, and it didn’t take very long. I had a local anaesthetic and chatted with the nurse who stood by me the whole time. We talked about dog agility classes, even though I don’t have a dog. I remember that more than the treatment!

I was in and out of the hospital outpatient department in about an hour and got the bus back home! I remember having a sandwich and then falling asleep on the sofa for the afternoon.
I had regular follow up checks and then annual screening for the next three years

It’s important to remember that most cervical screening results are normal. Don’t put them off because they can prevent cancer, and they might save your life

If you want more support

We know it can be scary trying to find out more about cancer, but the friendly Act on Cancer Together team are available to talk to you about going for a cervical screening test or answer any questions you might have. If they don’t know the answer, they will know someone who does.

If you would like to talk to someone, please phone the Act on Cancer Together (ACT) team on 01273 234769 or email us on [email protected]

Act on Cancer Together (ACT) is a partnership between The Trust for Developing Communities, The Hangleton and Knoll Project, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Sussex and Brighton and Hove City Council.

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