With two people dying from cervical cancer in the UK every day, NHS Forth Valley is backing a new Scottish Government campaign, encouraging people not to ignore their invite – even if they expect everything is fine.
Cervical cancer is largely preventable and screening is the best way to protect against the disease, yet one in three women in Scotland still don’t go for the five-minute smear test that can stop it before it starts.
The campaign also provides tips and reassurance around the appointment to help people overcome barriers to attending, such as embarrassment or worry.
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Gillian Morton, head of midwifery, said: “We’re keen to reassure those who may put off going for their smear that those who carry out the tests are trained to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
“I’d encourage anyone worried to talk to your GP or nurse so they can give you the right support and help make the appointment better for you.”
The campaign was launched by Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health urged women to take the five minute test.
She added: “This campaign has been developed to encourage more eligible people to attend and ultimately save more lives. It’s understandable some may feel anxious about the smear test itself, but information and advice are available to help make your appointment easier.”
The test checks for HPV and cell changes, helping identify those who are at higher risk of cervical cancer.