Who’s afraid of the big, bad letter?

The-Eve-AppealI received THE letter last week. The one that all women, past a certain age, get and promptly announce to themselves “I’ll make that appointment next week.”

It was a reminder from my GP that I am due for a cervical screening. Like most I know that it is important, but something keeps me from doing anything immediately, “it can always wait,” I say to myself.

But then I was reminded on Twitter of the Eve Appeal…a charity which works hard to raise money to fund the world-class research programme at the Department of Women’s Cancer…and it made me stop and question why?

Why is it something women put off? Why will we undergo the torture of a bikini wax but not the smear test? Why is it not like booking an appointment to get birth control?

Cervical Screening Awareness Week is taking place in the UK from June 9th to 15th  2013 – and shockingly, twenty per cent of women in the UK still fail to attend cervical screening when invited. This is a statistic that shocks me.

Cervical cancer has attracted much media coverage in recent years, largely because of Jade Goody’s sad death from the disease – but have we learned enough? Apparently not. Immediately after Jade’s death there was a rise in the number of women attending screening but I am informed that this number is now falling again.

Each year in the UK 2,900 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed and more than half of these are in women under the age of 50. Although very rare in women under 25, it is the second most common cancer in women under 35.

The screening procedure it relatively harmless, and whilst not the most pleasant experience, it is one which very important. So, with renewed vigour I’m off to make my appointment, but while I’m at it I might just treat myself to a manicure after…to recuperate of course!

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