September 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm #16353
Cervical cancer can be prevented – Despite this 3 in 10 women still not having free smear test.
According to CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme, 30 per cent of women aged 25-60 have still not availed of their free smear test. Having regular smear tests is the best protection against cervical cancer for women aged 25-60. By avoiding their smear tests, these women are putting themselves at greater risk of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb). Early detection and treatment of changes in the cells of the cervix can prevent a cervical cancer developing. The best way to detect changes in the cells of the cervix is by having regular smear tests.
Dr Gráinne Flannelly, Clinical Director of CervicalCheck is urging all women aged 25-60 to go for their free smear tests. She said: “The fact that so many women are avoiding this simple, free test is a cause for concern. I truly hope that women who have not yet had a smear test will take five minutes out of their busy day to be proactive about their health. A smear test is nothing to be embarrassed about. It only takes a few minutes and doctors and practice nurses do hundreds a week.”
CervicalCheck is also aware that women aged over 50 are less likely to have their smear tests. Even if a woman is aged over 50, has reached the menopause or has finished having her family, she still needs to have regular smear tests. It’s just as important for a woman of 56 to have a smear test as it is for a woman aged 25.
CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme provides free smear tests for women aged 25 to 60. There is a choice of over 4,000 male and female smeartakers (GPs doctors and practice nurses) nationwide – and it’s free.
Women don’t need an invitation letter or to register with CervicalCheck. To arrange a smear test they can simply contact a registered smeartaker of their choice to make an appointment. GPs, practice nurses, Women’s Health, Family Planning and Well Woman Clinics all over Ireland are registered to provide free smear tests. Details of all registered smeartakers are available at http://www..cervicalcheck.ie or by calling CervicalCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.
Once a woman has had her first CervicalCheck smear test, the programme will let her know when her next smear test is due. A woman can also find the date of her next test by checking online at http://www.cervicalcheck.ie.
Note to editor:
See below some women’s experiences of CervicalCheck. While genuine testimonials, their names have been omitted at their request.
“Your letter urging me to take up the offer came at a time when I knew I was well overdue a smear and was trying hard to avoid one. I had seen your ads but was burying my head in the sand. It was only when I received a letter from you to me personally, and read your leaflet, that it got me to go. Well, you know the rest of the story. I have no doubt it saved my life. A thousand thanks.”
“It was over quickly. I don’t know why I dreaded it. The best thing about it was that the whole thing was explained well beforehand and they answered all my questions. To be honest with you I never really understood before what smear tests were all about.”
“My mother didn’t have a smear test in 30 years. It was only because she received a reminder letter from you that she went for a test. It came back as abnormal. They found she had cervical cancer at the colposcopy clinic. Thankfully it was picked up at anearly stage and after an operation, all cancer was removed. I would like to especially thank your screening programme for tracking women like my mother who may otherwise have fallen through the net.”
“I would like to say that I was very happy to learn that your programme allows you to choose your smeartaker and that it doesn’t have to be your own doctor. I am very happy with my male GP for all my other care but appreciate I can have my smear test taken by a female smeartaker in another practice if I prefer to.”September 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm #129052YvonneMember
This is so important! Can’t understand how girls can put it on the long finger.. yes its uncomfortable and a little embarrassing maybe but its worth it!
Another thing that’s important is to make sure they have your most recent address and phone number. I know a girl who had her smear and letters were sent to her address on file (but she had since moved), after a time they eventually got contact with her, she had more tests and unfortunately has cervical cancer, she is only 32. 🙁September 6, 2013 at 9:30 am #129055
No one likes getting a smear test done, its not nice but it only takes literally a minute to do and it could save your life.
My own mother had cervical cancer cells in her womb about 24 years ago and she had surgery to remove them and amazingly, she went on to have two more children afterwards.
She still has to have regular smears test but has been clear since they removed the bad cells.
Just think, if Jade Goody had done something about her situation, she may well have survived but she left it too long.
This is an extremely treatable cancer and regular smears check for it.
Anyone reading this who is due for a smear, please call and make an appointment today – it is FREE and could save your life.
Please do it.September 16, 2013 at 8:09 am #123852
Anyone overdue for a smear?? Going to try to encourage us ladies to make the appointment and not put it off!! 🙂September 16, 2013 at 10:50 am #129169lemonBMember
I suppose to have one done last month but because Im 6 months pregnant Ive decided to wait until after birth even tho theyve told me it’d besafe to have it done after 16 weeks of pregnancy but I’m worried as I know there’ll be some bleeding afterwords and that would make me even more worried.September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm #129173munchinParticipant
I signed up to the check up service and have gotten a group of the mammies I met when I had dd2 to do the same – definitely something not to be ignored
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