This Cervical Screening Awareness Week (20-26 June), women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 are being encouraged to opt-in to the free cervical screening programme.
Cervical screening detects Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection passed between people through skin-to-skin and sexual contact which is the main cause of cervical cancer. If HPV is detected the screening sample will then be checked for any underlying abnormalities of the cervical cells.
Women and people with a cervix are reminded that they need to opt-in to the programme when they turn 25 by contacting their GP.
It is important that Islanders attend their screenings regularly (every three years for those aged 25-50, and every five years for those aged 50-64) as HPV can lie dormant for many years.
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Fiona Nelson, said: “It is hugely important that women take advantage of this free service. Cervical screening is a vital test that can detect the first signs of cervical disease which means treatment can be given early before any abnormal cells turn cancerous.
“The majority of people will be unaware they have HPV and, although most infections are benign, it is the leading cause of cervical cancer. If everyone attended their screenings regularly, 83% of cervical cancer deaths could be prevented.
“Most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented and treated if caught early. I would encourage all eligible Islanders to opt-in for cervical screening if they have not already done so and, for those who are already on the programme, to continue attending your appointments.
To opt-in to the cervical screening programme, Islanders can contact their GP or Le Bas Centre on 01534 443781 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information on the Cervical Screening Programme can be found here.