Women in Jersey are being asked to remind their friends about having a smear test as Cervical Screening Awareness Week begins.
The national awareness week which this year runs from 10 to 16 June, is championed annually by the national charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. This year, the charity is urging women to encourage other women they know to have cervical screening (known as a smear test).
Jersey has a very effective screening programme for women age 20-64 offering screening every 3 years, but not all eligible women know about the programme or come forward to have a smear test.
Women who do register for cervical screening are asked the question “Where did you hear about us?” and frequently the answer is word of mouth; through a family member, friend or colleague.
Dr Fiona Nelson, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Jersey General Hospital said “Women encouraging other women they know to have screening works, particularly through sharing of their own experiences. Sometimes women may feel anxious about cervical screening but the test is very simple and only takes 5 minutes. Women can ask to see a female doctor or nurse for the procedure if they feel embarrassed”.
During this month’s Cervical Screening Week, health professionals in Jersey would like more women who have been screened to encourage women they know age 20-64 to register for screening.
To register for cervical screening women are requested to call their GP or Le Bas Centre on 443781.
Earlier this year, the Public Health department worked with the Parish of St Helier to raise awareness about cervical and breast screening by using an eye-catching pink refuse truck, with screening awareness reminders written on the side; this month’s campaign is a further move to encourage women to act upon this important preventative health message.