Don’t fear your smear

Last week, we joined Jo’s Trust in raising awareness of attending cervical screening with the #SmearForSmear campaign, where people took a selfie smudging their lipstick across their face.

We got local singer, and former member of the Happy Monday’s star, Rowetta on board with the campaign and she shared her selfie to spread the message of why it was so important for the women of Manchester to attend their smear test. Manchester attendance of cervical screening in 2018/2019 was 65.3%, which is a lot lower than the Greater Manchester average of 72.5%.

Smear tests involve sweeping the cervix with a soft brush to take a sample of the cells and test them for the presence of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). About 80% of us will get HPV in our lifetime and it is spread by sexual contact. The HPV virus is the main cause of cervical cancer, and the shocking fact is that this type of cervical cancer is one of the most preventable, by testing for HPV and treating it before abnormal cells develop.

So whether you’re young or old, a smear test veteran or have never got round to going, it’s not too late to attend yours. If you aren’t sure if you’re due for one, just give your GP practice a call and they’ll be able to arrange one for you if you are.

Another way to look after yourself is by attending your breast screening. Women aged 50 to 70 are invited for a screening, but the uptake in Manchester is currently low.

For those of you who are registered with a Manchester GP and have been to your breast screening, we have a chance for you to let us know about your experience to help us better understand what improvements we need to make.

The survey is anonymous, and you can fill it out as little or as much as you like. All feedback is appreciated as they help us plan services. You can take part in the survey here.

If you require the survey in an alternative format, language, paper copies or have any questions about the survey, please contact Hajra Sardar at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning on: / 07970 948 687

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