23-29 January is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Two women die every day of cervical cancer in England, yet it is one of the most preventable cancers.

Cervical screening helps prevent cancer by checking for a virus called HPV and cervical cell changes. If left untreated, these cells can develop into cancer.

Screening only takes a few minutes, and you only have to go once every 3 or 5 years depending on your age.

But just 1 in 3 women and people with a cervix take up their screening invite.

Dr Glenda Beard, a GP and Clinical Lead for cancer at the Integrated Care Board for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, said:

“Don’t ignore your invite letter, and if you missed your last cervical screening, book an appointment with your GP practice now. It is also important to remember that having your child vaccinated against HPV can help prevent cervical cancer.”

All children in Year 8 at school will be offered the HPV vaccinations, as part of the national NHS school-age immunisations programme. If your child has missed their vaccinations, you can contact the School Age Immunisations Team to book an appointment.

For more information about cervical screening, see the NHS website or Jo’s cervical cancer trust  where you will find information about the cervix, smear tests, cervical cancer symptoms, treatments and much more.