Call for residents in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to attend cervical screening test
Doctors are calling for women and people with a cervix across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to attend a potentially life-saving cervical screening test.
As part of Cervical Cancer Screening Awareness Week (June 19-24), doctors in the area want to remind people who have received a cervical screening invitation to book an appointment with their GP practice.
Dr Glenda Beard, GP and Clinical Lead for Cancer at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB), said:
“Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer as cervical screening identifies abnormal cells before they become cancerous.
“Unfortunately, one in three women and people with a cervix don’t take up their invite and I would like to encourage anyone who has received an invitation or missed their last screening to book an appointment with their GP practice for this potentially life-saving test.
“Early detection really is the best form of defence. Sometimes people can feel embarrassed or unsure about having the test but GP practice nurses who do the cervical screening test will support you through what is a quick and simple procedure.
“It is also important to be aware of the symptoms of cervical cancer, such as vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you, changes to vaginal discharge, pain or discomfort during sex or an unexplained persistent pain in your lower back or between your hips. Please contact your GP for assessment and advice if you experience any of these symptoms.”
The plea comes as cervical cancer charity, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust launches its annual Cervical Cancer Screening Awareness Week (June 19-24) to raise awareness of cervical cancer and increase uptake of cervical screening.
Cervical screening is a free test that involves using a small soft brush to collect a few cells from the cervix. The cells are tested for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and if this is found then the cells are checked for changes. If found the changes be treated to stop cervical cancer ever developing.
Eligible people aged between 25 to 64 are invited by letter every three to five years depending on their age, or more frequently if HPV or cell changes are detected.
More information about cervical screening is available on the Jo’s Trust website.