I was going to start this blog by talking about how this is a bit TMI and not for everyone, so to click away if they didn’t fancy a read. But actually, you know what it’s that kind of attitude that is stopping women from getting a simple test that could save their life.
Okay, so I’m not going to lie i’ve been putting off getting a cervical smear done since the NHS letters started dropping through my letterbox a few months ago. The only reason? It’s the typical ‘oh i’ll get round to that at some point’. I didn’t really see the importance in it. I’m quite an open person so wasn’t feeling embarrassed about the prospect of the test, just honestly didn’t realise the importance of it, that was until I read about Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Cervical smears are offered to women as they turn 25 and tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers developing*. Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in women under the age of 35, however 1 in 4 don’t attend the test when offered.* If these stats don’t shock you like they shocked me then I don’t know what else I can say! I was also shocked to read that 35% of young women don’t attend appointments because they’re ashamed of their body. Please, please ladies don’t let this stop you! The incredible team of nurses that perform these tests are there to save your life, they aren’t there to judge, and you should never be ashamed. You’re a woman, own it!
When I heard it was Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and saw some #SmearForSmear posts pop up on my Instagram, I kicked my sorry butt into gear and I’ve got my appointment booked for the end of the month. I’ve heard it can be a little uncomfortable, but you know what? If it prevents me from developing a potentially life threatening illness then I’ll take it the few minutes of feeling uncomfortable any day.
What can you do? Book your test! Pick up the phone and call your GP right now, it might just save your life.
Make sure you upload a picture like mine, and share on social media channels to get the word out there! If my blog just gets one of you lovely ladies to book your smear test then i’ll count it as a success. #SmearForSmear.
*All statistics taken from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust