Rebecca Harris MP supports Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Local MP Rebecca Harris is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

This week Rebecca Harris MP and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are raising awareness about how women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer. Over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, yet it is one of the only cancers that can be prevented and one day become a disease of the past.

Cervical screening (smear tests) are the best protection against the disease, followed by the HPV vaccine offered in schools. Yet cervical screening uptake is at a 21-year low in England at just 71.4%, meaning that more than one in four women are not booking a potentially life-saving test.

This week Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has published new research which found that young women who delay or don’t go for cervical screening feel scared (71%), vulnerable (75%) and embarrassed (81%) at the thought of going. A worrying two thirds (67%) say they would not feel in control at the prospect of a test.

Rebecca Harris MP said: “Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers developing, so it is worrying to hear that so many women are not attending this test when invited, particularly due to embarrassment. I encourage my female constituents in Castle Point to stay on top of their health, and make sure they book tests every 3 years.”

Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “We are delighted to have Rebecca Harris MP’s support to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening.  Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy. We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.”