Women too embarrassed to take cancer test


Worrying new research from charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust has revealed the underlying reason so many young women fail to attend their all-important smear tests: they're embarrassed about their vaginas.

The problem was particularly prevalent in women aged between 25 and 29, who were found to have concerns about their body shape, the appearance of their pubic area and concerns about smell, which stopped them from getting a test.

In 2009 reality television star Jade Goody died of cervical cancer which prompted nearly 500,000 extra women to go for smear tests - this became known as the "Jade Goody Effect".

And statistics showed that many people are unaware of the comparatively high risk of cervical cancer among younger women, as well as the overall importance of smear tests.

HAVERING GPs are urging women to attend regular cervical cancer screenings to reduce their risk of developing the potentially fatal disease.

All women aged 25 to 49 are invited for a screening test every 3 years, while those aged 50 to 64 are invited every 5 years.

Across the United Kingdom, one in four eligible women (aged 25-64) do not take up their smear test invitation, this rises to one in three among 25-29 year olds and is even as high as one in two in some areas of the UK.

Cervical screening isn't a test for cancer, it's a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix.

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'It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to non attendance.

Cervical cancer kills 1,000 women a year in Britain.

The report comes ahead of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, running from January 22-28, and the charity has set up a #SmearForSmear campaign to raise awareness of the importance of attending these screenings.

Aside from the vital goal of saving lives, screening for cervical cancer helps save the NHS money.

It comes after a report carried out by the Trust showed that 34 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Groups and 32 per cent of local authorities in England have not undertaken any activities to increase cervical screening coverage in the past year.

The charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust surveyed 2,017 British women.

"Please don't let unhappiness or uncertainty about your body stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test".

'Nurses are professionals who carry out millions of tests every year, they can play a big part in ensuring women are comfortable'.