Harlow women urged to come forward for lifesaving test

The cancer team at NHS West Essex CCG has launched a campaign to encourage women in Harlow to make time for their cervical screening.

You Go Girl is a three month campaign that aims to raise awareness that the test is quick and can prevent cervical cancer from developing.

Research has shown a worrying decline in cervical screening attendance, particularly amongst young women, in Harlow. Lack of time, limited knowledge of screening and body confidence, were among the top reasons for not booking and attending a screening test.

Campaign Manager, Iolanda Cuomo explains[01] : “Cervical cancer doesn’t discriminate, it kills women of all ages and that’s why this test is so important. Many of the young women not coming forward won’t remember Jade Goody’s heart-breaking battle with cervical cancer, which left her two young sons without their mother. Screening saves lives and that’s why we’re asking everyone to take care of their health and book their test when invited.”

Cervical screening is offered to all women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64.  It’s carried out every three years for those aged 25 to 49 or every five years from 50 to 64.

The screening test checks for a virus called HPV and if left unnoticed, HPV can lead to cervical cancer. However, if detected early it can prevent cancer before it’s even started.  The earlier cancer is diagnosed the easier it is to treat.

Cervical screening is a free test carried out at the GP surgery by a trained nurse. The test itself takes a couple of minutes, less time than it takes to make a cuppa.

For more information on the campaign visit – www.myhealthessex.co.uk

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