14 January 2019
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a significant impact on cervical cancer deaths since it was established in 1988 - saving an estimated 5,000 lives a year.
However, take up for screening is, according to Public Health England, at a 20-year low with NHS figures showing that in 2018 only 71% of women aged 25 to 64 were adequately tested.
To promote awareness cancer charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust is again promoting, among other things, the SmearForSmear campaign which encourages women who have taken their test to picture themselves on social media with part of their make-up smeared across their face.
It will run throughout Cervical Cancer Prevention Week from Monday January 21 to Sunday 27 with the charity hoping that one woman’s post might just provide encouragement to other women and remind them of the importance of being screened.
Then, in March, Public Health England is planning to launch a national campaign to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the death of TV reality star Jade Goody.
The idea behind both campaigns is to:
- highlight the risks of cervical cancer and the preventative benefits of the often misunderstood screening test and encourage women of all ages to respond to their screening invitation
- encourage women to consider booking an appointment if they have missed previous invitations
- tackle issues of fear and embarrassment