The importance of smear tests is being stressed by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals during national Cervical Screening Awareness Week (12-18 June).
Younger women in particular, are being targeted because they are less likely to take up the offer of a smear test.
Nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day in the UK and it is the most common cancer in women under 35. In South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, one in four women do not attend their routine cervical screening appointments.
Sandra Nevett, Sister on the Gynaecology Outpatient Clinic at the Trust, said: “Having a smear test is hugely important as early detection can lead to successful treatment.
Sandra explained: “Some younger women who have had the HPV vaccination might think they don’t need a smear test because they are protected but that is not necessarily the case.
“Women who don’t attend are the most vulnerable. Usually there are no symptoms with cervical cancer, so it is only by having a smear test that any abnormal cells on the cervix can be found before they develop into cancer.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to urge all ladies from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to take up their all-important cervical screening appointment, for five minutes out of your day – it could save your life.“
Cervical Screening Awareness Week is running 12-18 June, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals will be launching a social media campaign highlighting the importance of attending cervical screening appointments and signposting to the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Fear or Smear website.
All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years. If you are aged between 25 and 49 you will receive an appointment every three years, aged between 50 and 64 every five years and if you are 65+ you will only be screened if you haven’t had a smear test since the age of 50 or have had recent abnormal tests.
Women who have missed their cervical screening appointment are encouraged to contact their local GP to book an appointment.
To find out more about people’s personal stories in South Yorkshire and their fears, the facts and getting ready for your smear, visit fearorsmear.dbh.nhs.uk