I talked last week about health lifestyle choices and trying to prevent illness happening. This week I have received my invitation for cervical screening – or ‘smear test’ .
Now this is a good example of prevention. For us ladies the cervix is the neck of the womb and having some cells taken from there by the use of a small brush can detect any early signs of cell changes that could if left unchecked possibly develop into cancer.
The test is not looking for cancer, it’s looking for changes that can be treated to stop cancer developing. You are invited for testing every 3 years between 25 and 49 and then once every 5 years from 50 to 64 years.
I don’t know anyone that enjoys going for the test, but I’ll be booking my appointment to have it done. If I’m honest the letter and book I received from the screening programme was quite long and detailed, sometimes I wonder if a message along the lines of ‘get the test done; a few seconds of discomfort could save your life’ would encourage some ladies to make the appointment and have it done.
Across South Tees surgeries are trying many different ways to make it easier for women to have the test, you can ask your GP surgery about having it taken in the extended hours GP hubs if family or work commitments mean this could be easier for you.