Cervical Screening Awareness Week is organised by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

It was founded by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in 1999 by James Maxwell in memory of his dead wife Jo, who died from Cervical Cancer. According to Jostrust.org.uk: “it was her (Jo’s) wish that women affected by cervical cancer would have the opportunity with others facing similar challenges.”

Cervical Screening Awareness Week is celebrated nationally on an annual basis. It seeks to raise awareness of cervical screening (smear tests), highlighting the challenges of cervical screening, why it is so important and tips to help those who find cervical screening difficult.

This year Cervical Screening Awareness Week will take place from the 20th – 26th of June 2022.

What is Cervical Cancer?

According to Cancer Research UK:” Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth (tumour).

If not caught, early cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body.”

What is a Cervical Screening?

According to Cancer Research UK: “Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer. It tests for a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV). High risk HPV can cause cervical cells to become abnormal. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are linked to high-risk HPV.”

The NHS offers a cervical screening programme, according to the NHS: “All women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 should go for regular cervical screening. You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you to make an appointment.”

If you would like to book an appointment to have a cervical screening, then please contact your local General practice.

What are the main symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

According to the NHS: “Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Unusual bleeding
  • Pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis)”

The NHS also states that these symptoms are common. Having these symptoms does not mean that you have cervical cancer, but it is important to get them checked by your GP.

Is Cervical Cancer preventable?

According to Cancer Research UK: “99.8% of cervical cancer cases in the UK are preventable.”

Even though most cases are preventable, this does not mean that you are protected from cervical cancer. The best way to protect yourself from Cervical cancer, according to the NHS is through “Cervical screening and HPV vaccination”.

How do I raise awareness for Cervical Screening Awareness Week?

You can raise awareness by:

  • Sharing on social media – By sharing articles, information and previously shared stories about Cervical Cancer and how important it is to have a Cervical Screening.

    Sharing with friends and family – According to a press release article from gov.uk: “Latest figures from March 2021 show that nearly a third of eligible individuals – women and people with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 – were not screened.”