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NHS reminds patients of the importance of cervical screening

15th June 2021 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups (LLR CCGs) are backing Cervical Screening Awareness Week (14-20 June 2021) by reminding women and people with a cervix how important it is to go for cervical screening when invited.

This year the initiative, organised nationally by Jo’s Trust, is also helping people to understand their cervical screening results and reducing confusion around HPV, the human papillomavirus.

Dr Paul Danaher, GP and clinical lead for cancer for the three CCGs in LLR, said:

“HPV is a common virus, most often passed on through sexual contact. Many cases are completely harmless but some types of HPV can lead to cancer. Cervical screening can identify HPV as well as any other abnormal changes to the cells.

“Unfortunately, many patients only find out they have cancer of the cervix when it is at an advanced stage because there can be very little noticeable symptoms early on. That’s why it’s so important to have your screening when it is due. It’s the best way to identify any changes in the cells around your cervix at the earliest possible stage, even before they have developed into cancer, when it is much easier to treat.”

The most common symptom of cancer of the cervix is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which can occur during or after sex, in between periods, or new bleeding after a woman has been through the menopause.

The NHS’s cervical cancer screening programme is offered to women and people with a cervix aged between 25 to 49 every three years and for those aged 50 to 64 every five years.

Dr Danaher added: “Cervical screening is a very simple procedure which only takes a couple of minutes and it doesn’t matter how confident you feel about your body – this is medical and you are not going to be judged.

“Please be assured that, if you missed your cervical screening during the coronavirus outbreak this is unlikely to cause you any harm, but if you are due or overdue for a cervical screen please contact your GP practice now to book an appointment.”

Information about cervical screening is available on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

Information on Cervical Screening Awareness Week is available on Jo’s Trust website: www.jostrust.org.uk

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