Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Mid Scotland and Fife region, and the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are raising awareness about how women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer.
To coincide with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, the charity has stated that more than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust state that cervical screening (smear tests) are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine offered in schools. Yet cervical screening uptake is at an all-time low.
Last year, cervical screening uptake in Scotland fell from 73.4% to 72.8%, meaning more than one in four eligible women missed their screen test.
This week, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published new research which has found young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71%), vulnerable (75%) and embarrassed (81%) at the thought of going.
A worrying two thirds (67%) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test (full details are available here: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/node/1076499).
Mr Fraser said: “I am delighted to be working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment.”
And Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, added: “We are delighted to have Murdo Fraser’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening. Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy.
“We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier.”