Cervical Cancer Prevention Week takes place from the 20th to 26th of January, 2020, and is part of the annual #SmearForSmear campaign by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
The charity encourages as many people as possible to go for a smear test and to document their participation with a lipstick smear selfie and the promoted hashtag.
As well as getting more people to get booked in for a screening, this cervical cancer awareness campaign aims to tackle the fear and embarrassment that women often feel about smears. It also aims to raise awareness about why it’s so important to get checked out. The campaign has been backed by a number of celebrities in recent years, including Countdown’s Rachel Riley and model Cara Delevingne.
Going for a smear is one of the best ways you can prevent cervical cancer, and Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2020 is an important reminder to make an appointment.
At ID Medical, we help to place thousands of medical professionals each year, including gynecologists. We also support the importance of self care for doctors, nurses and all medical staff. This important January campaign isn’t just to reach out to the wider public, but also to those working within the NHS.
Cervical cancer – the facts
Cervical cancer accounts for 2% of all new cancer cases in females in the UK. That’s around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases every year. According to Cancer Research UK, there were a total of 852 deaths from cervical cancer between 2015 and 2017. And there is a 63% survival rate based on 10 or more years.
But the scariest fact to know is 99.8% of all cervical cancer cases are preventable. This means booking in for regular screenings is essential.
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How to get involved in Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week works in conjunction with the #SmearForSmear campaign, which has historically asked people to share their lipstick smeared selfies to help raise awareness. This year, they are changing it up, asking people to share a range of different content. You can share a lipstick smear, one of the official graphics from the campaign itself, or a smear myth that needs to be busted.
To get involved in Cervical Cancer Week at a more general level, you can re-post any tweets or information. Or you can raise awareness by doing one of the following things:
- Hold an awareness day using the free materials provided by the charity and share your personal story
- Use newsletters and notice boards to promote the campaign in your workplace
- Get your employer to sign up to Time to Test to allow female staff members enough time to visit a clinic
- Fundraise by organising your own event (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice on getting started)
- Make a donation to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust
- Campaign by contacting your MP and ask them to join forces with the charity
If you are a general practitioner, consider having an evening clinic or an event for people looking for further information.
How to prevent cervical cancer
Preventing cervical cancer is a lot easier than many people believe. With 99.8% of all cervical cancer cases being preventable, it’s vital that every woman makes time for visiting a clinic and takes it seriously.
Here are the ways you can prevent cervical cancer:
- Always attend a cervical screening when invited
- Ensure you know the symptoms of cervical cancer and seek medical advice immediately if you experience any of them
- Encourage the uptake of the HPV vaccination (between the ages of 11 and 18 years)
As well as looking after personal health and ensuring the health of friends and family, this is key information to pass onto your patients during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2020. If they have any questions, be sure to direct them to the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity, and its number one goal is to reduce the impact of cervical cancer on women. The organisation was founded in 1999 by London businessman, James Maxwell, in memory of his wife, Jo who died from cervical cancer at the age of 40. Visit the website for more information.
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