Tuesday, 23 January 2024

Reduce your risk of cervical cancer by getting screened

This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22-28 January), health leaders in the area want to help even more people to protect themselves against cervical cancer.

Southport and Formby Health are encouraging those eligible aged 25 to 64 to have screening to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer. The test detects human papilloma virus (HPV) and signs of early abnormal cells. You can book a screening through your GP - if you need an appointment of an evening or a weekend then you can book with our 7 Day GP Service.

Cervical screening is available to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 in England.

Dr Debbie Harvey, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead for NHS South Sefton PCN, said: “It’s important you attend screening when you’re invited.

“Eligible people aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years and 50 to 64 year olds are invited every five years.

“Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a great opportunity to talk about screening, understand the symptoms of cervical cancer, and to book that appointment you may have been putting off.”

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead for NHS Southport and Formby PCN, said: “If you are worried about going for screening due to coronavirus, speak to your GP practice about your questions or concerns.

“Since the pandemic, all GP practices have put increased infection control measures in place, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“You can request a female nurse or doctor, and we encourage you to discuss any concerns with our staff beforehand.

“Having cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer''

“If you have symptoms such as bleeding between periods, pain during or after sex, changes to vaginal discharge or unexplained lower back or pelvic pain, please contact your practice to have your symptoms assessed.

“Your GP practice is still here for you, so don’t wait to be invited for your next cervical screening test before getting your symptoms checked out.''

Your cervical screening test is quick and simple and it looks for the human papilloma virus (HPV). If positive for the virus, your sample will then be tested for early abnormal cells.

All eligible people who are registered with a GP as female automatically receive an invitation by mail.

Trans men do not receive invitations if registered as male with their GP but are still entitled to screening if they have a cervix.

The best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer is by attending cervical screening when invited.

Trans men with a cervix registered as male with their GP will need to ask their GP practice for an appointment.

For more information on cervical cancer and what the screening test involves, please visit the Cervical Cancer website.