Argyll and Bute HSCP supports #smearforsmear Campaign

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Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) would like to remind the public that screening tests are a way of identifying health problems in people with no symptoms at an early stage when it can be easier to treat.

The HSCP aims to increase awareness and improve the uptake of the NHS screening programmes throughout Argyll and Bute.

This week the HSCP is promoting Cervical Cancer Awareness Week Campaign #smearforsmear to encourage women to attend cervical screening (smear test) appointments following research that the number of people going for smear tests is lower than ever.

The HSCP is very keen to motivate women living in Argyll and Bute to access cervical screening and not to ignore the invite letter and reminders.

The cervical screening test only takes around three minutes to complete. A sample of cells is taken from the cervix and sent for testing to check for anything out of the ordinary. Regular screening can help to identify any abnormal changes at an early stage so that they can be treated if necessary to stop cancer developing. Since the cervical screening programme was implemented cervical cancer cases have decreased nationally.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and abnormal screening results through providing the highest quality trusted information and support services for cervical cancer treatment and prevention. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust can be contacted via their helpline. They can help answer questions about all aspects of Cervical Cancer with reassurance their information and advice is trusted and reliable.

Women including friends and family who are feeling anxious, worried about symptoms or cervical screening (smear tests) results or coming to terms with diagnosis can contact the helpline, Ask the Expert a question via the online anonymous service and also access the online forum to get peer support from the forum community online.

The HSCP is also championing Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust campaign #SmearforSmear on social media platforms to increase cervical screening uptake and encourage anxious patients who have missed their appointments to get booked in to be screened as soon as possible and encouraging women affected by cervical abnormalities and diagnosed with cervical cancer to engage with resources, support and services available through Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

People can telephone Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust helpline for a wide range of different reasons, including: Finding out more about Human papillomavirus Virus (HPV), Questions about smear tests and results, Parents wanting to know more about the HPV vaccination, Queries about what to expect at colposcopy or to talk through a cervical abnormality diagnosis. They also receive calls from women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, and their loved ones about everything from treatment options, fertility and coping with life after cancer.

The helpline Opening hours depend on the availability of volunteers. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust update their opening times regularly on their website with the opportunity to leave a message to request a representative to return your call. For more information visit their website direct www.jostrust.org.uk or NHS Inform.