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Yorkshire Coast Women Urged To Not Miss Smear Test

Yorkshire Coast Women Urged To Not Miss Smear Test

Published by Karen Liu at 6:01am 22nd January 2020.

Women on the Yorkshire Coast are being urged to not miss their smear test.

For Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, a charity says 1 in 5 women in North Yorkshire missed their smear test last year. 

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and Charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust is behind the #SmearForSmear initiative.  

The charity says between the end of March 2018 to the end of March 2019, 78.4% of women in North Yorkshire went for a smear test when invited. That means over 1 in 5 did not attend. 

That figure is slightly higher than the average for Yorkshire and Humber, with 74.5% attending over the same period. 

But the charity is urging women to attend the life-saving test, which detects the human papillomavirus virus, or HPV. It is this virus that can lead to cancer.  

Teenage girls are offered a free HPV jab at school during years 7 and 8. 

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust research shows worrying levels of misunderstanding around HPV, which is sexually transmitted. 

Despite eight out of ten people having HPV at some point in their lives, the charity's research shows less than a quarter (22%) of women say they would date someone with HPV.

If told they had the virus, one in five would feel embarrassed and one in ten dirty.  

Rob Music, Chief Executive of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said:

"No one should feel ashamed about having HPV.

We must normalise the virus to reduce the emotional impact of diagnosis and ensure people know where to get trustworthy information and support.

This means stripping away the stigma and getting the facts out. Smear tests are the best protection against cervical cancer and we want women to understand what their results mean, instead of having to navigate myths.

Please, if you are due an appointment, please book it."

Rob says people can contact the charity if they have any worries about their smear test or HPV. 

Its national Helpline is free, confidential and on 0808 802 8000

As part of the #SmearForSmear campaign, the charity's asking people to share a lipstick smear, smear their own myth or share one of the campaign materials.

For more information visit www.jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear


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