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Cervical cancer prevention – know what you can do

Hampshire County Council is urging people to learn how they can reduce their risk of cervical cancer during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20-26 January).

Councillor Judith Grajewski, Executive Member for Public Health at the Local Authority, said:

Simply knowing that cervical cancer is preventable empowers us all to take steps for ourselves or to educate others in how to lower the risk. For example women can protect themselves by attending their cervical screening when invited by the GP surgery – you only have to go once every three to five years depending on your age and it’s five minutes that could save your life.”

Women are encouraged to be familiar with the symptoms of cervical cancer and seek medical advice if experiencing any. Girls aged 11 to 18 can also take up the HPV vaccination which offers protection against most types of cervical cancer.

Two women die every day from cervical cancer in England. It is estimated that cervical screening (for women aged 25 to 64) saves around 5,000 lives each year and yet one in four women in the UK is not attending their test. It is carried out by a GP practice nurse who is trained to make it as comfortable and embarrassment-free as possible.

The screening is not a test for cancer but can help identify potentially harmful cells which can usually be treated to stop them from developing.

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