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​Join #SmearForSmear and help reduce the risk of cervical cancer

GPs in Southwark are encouraging women and people with a cervix to attend their free NHS smear test to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

To help raise awareness, women are also been urged to support the #SmearForSmear campaign on social media as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2019 (21-27 January).

To get involved, just put on some lipstick, smear it across your cheek, take a selfie and share it – accompanied by the hashtags – #SmearForSmear and #Southwark.

Cervical cancer screening, also known as a smear test, is a free health test that checks for cell changes on your cervix caused by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV).
Every three to five years, women and people with a cervix in the target age group (25 to 64 years old) are invited for a free NHS cervical screening appointment. 

This type of testing prevents 75 per cent of cervical cancers, yet in Southwark around a third of people who are eligible for a smear test do not attend.

While symptoms of cervical cancers are not always obvious (hence the importance of regular screening), they can include:
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding – during or after sex or between periods
  • Pain and discomfort during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
Dr Nicola Weaver, Macmillan GP Clinical Associate for Cancer, said:

“Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women and people with a cervix are diagnosed with cervical cancer.

“While there’s no single way to prevent cervical cancer, there are ways of reducing the risk. Spotting and treating it at an early stage is key to successful treatment so having a smear test is not only very important, it can help save lives. 

“As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2019, we are urging women and people with a cervix in Southwark to attend their regular screening appointments when invited.”

The #SmearForSmear campaign, which runs during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (21-27 January), is being led by Jo’s Trust. Its website has information on how to book a cervical screening appointment and what happens during the test.

Find out more about cervical screening.

Photo shows members of NHS Southwark CCG's Governing Body supporting #SmearForSmear