NHS Tayside’s Colposcopy Unit has been raising awareness of the importance of cervical screening as part of Jo’s Trust Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20-24 January).
To increase awareness of the benefits of cervical smear tests and encourage more women to attend screening, the colposcopy team organised a week-long event called CERVICA 2020.
A series of smear clinics have been arranged at Ninewells and Perth Royal Infirmary for NHS Tayside staff who have fallen behind with screening. Call 01382632305 or x32305 to make an appointment.
Clinics will take place on:
Wednesday 22 January – 2-4.30pm – Gynae Outpatients, PRI
Thursday 23 January – 8-9am and 5-6pm – Area 3, Ninewells
Friday 24 January – 8-9am – Area 3, Ninewells
A public drop-in smear clinic is also taking place tomorrow (Thursday 23 January) at Ninewells Hospital for women over the age of 25 who are overdue or have never had a smear test. Women can drop-in to Area 3 in the outpatient clinics between 6 and 8pm for screening.
Information stalls are being held at Ninewells and PRI throughout the week for staff and visitors to get information and ask any questions they may have about cervical screening.
The stall at Ninewells features a selfie photo booth for people to take photos with a variety of props and spread the message of cervical cancer prevention and cervical screening via social media. The team was also at Tesco Riverside in Dundee on Monday to chat to shoppers.
Cervical screening is the best way to prevent cervical cancer developing but around one in four women living in Tayside are overdue for their smear test. Women who have never had a smear or are long overdue for their smears are at an increased risk of cervical precancer and cervical cancer compared to women who have regular smear tests.
Lead colposcopist Dr Kalpana Ragupathy said, “An abnormal smear does not mean cancer. It means a surface change in the cells in the cervix that could maybe turn into cancer if left untreated.
“Precancerous changes precede cervical cancer by 10-15 years. Regular smear tests pick up these changes and treatment reduces the risk of cervical cancer by 95%.”
Gynae cancer lead Dr Wendy McMullen added, “Surface changes that need treating can almost always be treated in the clinic, either at the first or second visit. The examination takes about five minutes and the treatment, if needed, about another five to 10 minutes. Nearly all women leave the clinic saying the examination and treatment is slightly uncomfortable but not nearly as bad as they thought.
“We realise that some women have particular difficulties with examination but it is so important that these women come for their smear tests and follow up. It is so sad to see women having life changing treatment for a cancer that could have been prevented by a five minute smear test and a half hour visit to the clinic. Please put it on your list for 2020.”
Want to know more about your smears?
- Talk to your nurse or GP
- Like our cervical screening pages at facebook.com/cervica2020 or @cervica_2020 on Instagram
- Visit nhsinform.scot or call 0800 224488 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88). The helpline is open every day 8am-10pm and also provides an interpreting service.
- Visit Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on social media, at jostrust.org.uk or call 0808 8028000