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Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2022

17 Jan 2022

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17 – 23 January) so we thought we’d share the wise words of York Against Cancer volunteer and supporter Joan Pritchard (pictured).

Joan Pritchard

Prior to her retirement Joan Pritchard worked within the NHS – 23 years as a Practice Nurse in Haxby, York – but 46 years in total. Joan helped keep thousands of local women safe from cancer by carrying out cervical screening tests (previously called the ‘smear test’).

Joan offers these reassuring words to anyone worried about the test “Cervical screening saves lives, it’s as simple as that!

Some people may be worried about it, especially if they are having it for the first time. The test only takes a few minutes, and you can ask for a female nurse or doctor.”

All women aged 25 to 64 and registered with a GP are invited for a cervical screening. The NHS offer screening to help prevent cervical cancer and to save lives.

Joan went on to say “The part of the screening that could prove uncomfortable, where a speculum is used to view the cervix and a sample of cells is gathered for testing, should last no more than 30-40 seconds. It is soon over and then you can have reassurance for three years. In the unlikely situation of anything abnormal being found, it is important to remember that when found early, cervical cancer is very treatable, it’s curable. Sadly, it is often when people do not take up the invitation to screening that things can go wrong.

Early detection saves lives.”

If you are experiencing symptoms that could be linked to cervical cancer, please contact your GP. More information is available at