18 January, 2021
During cervical cancer awareness week, it seems appropriate to highlight the benefits of this screening.
The NHS estimate that if everyone attended screenings regularly 83% of cervial cancer cases could be prevented. Cervical screening currently prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths. It is offered every three years from age 25 to 49, and every five years from age 50 to 64. It may be more often based on a previous screening result.
Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix grow in a controlled way and form a lump (known as a tumour). Most cervical cancers are caused by a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is spread through skin to skin contact during any type of sexual activity. It can be inert, but there are different types. Only some high-risk types lead to cancer. In most cases they don't cause any symptoms, but sometimes the HPV can cause cells in your cervix to become abnormal.
Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer because it makes it harder for the body to get rid of the infection.
Family history of cervical cancer does not affect your chances of developing it.
Abnormal cells can develop into cancer if they aren't treated. A sample is taken by a brush from the surface of the cervix. It is tested in the lab for types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. It is not painful and is over in a matter of minutes. To find out more about cervical screening click here.
Be vigilant, and if you experience any of the following between regular screenings contact your GP;
Abnormal cells create the potential for cancer to develop. Another examination, a colposcopy is offered to examine the cervix more closely. If abnormal cells are found it may be appropriate to remove them. For more information on colposcopy click here.
Public Health England have produced a leaflet 'Helping you decide' which goes into more detail about the steps, procedures, and benefits of the screening process.
To find out more about Cervical Cancer, screenings or to get involved with the #smearforsmear campaign click here.
Other useful links:
For more information contact Leonie Millard in our Clinical Negligence department via email or phone on 01254 770517. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.