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Cervical Screening Awareness Week

20 Jun 2023

From 19th-26th June it’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week. Did you know? Regular cervical screening could prevent up to 75% of cervical cancer cases.

At York Against Cancer, we understand how cancer screenings can be daunting. Sometimes, you may feel uncomfortable or anxious, particularly when it comes to personal procedures like a cervical screening. However, the benefits of attending your regular screenings cannot be overlooked. This Cervical Screening Awareness Week we hope to ease any fears and encourage anyone with a cervix to attend their screenings whenever they can.

Sometimes, cells may change in the cervix. This can be harmless, or it could risk developing into cancer. These changes present no symptoms, meaning the only way to find out if you are at risk is by attending your screening; abnormal cells can then be found and any potentially cancerous ones identified. The cells can then be treated, preventing cancer before it can form.

The main risk factor for cervical cancer is if you develop an HPV infection. Often, HPV can be naturally combatted by the body’s immune system, and most people will never even know they had it. However, sometimes the virus remains. If this happens, it can affect the cervix for a long time, causing damage which could eventually lead to cancer. A smear test (cervical screening test) checks for high-risk HPV, and the cells are analysed for any abnormalities. The test is quick, usually under 5 minutes, and it shouldn’t cause any pain.

Sometimes the idea of attending your test, and the test itself, can lead to feelings of uncertainty or even fear. If you’re unsure about having your test, it may help to discuss it with your GP or somebody close to you.

Find out more about cervical screening today and soothe yourself of any worries.