At the age of 25, every woman in the UK is invited for their smear test. Smears tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing yet 1 in 3 women don’t attend an appointment when invited. Are you attending yours?
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 yet year on year, the number of women attending their test is dropping. You can only reduce your risk of cervical cancer by attending your appointment. Cervical cancer can be prevented, do something about it!
I was invited for my smear test before I was 25. I received my letter in January 2017 but wasn’t 25 until the July. Due to this, I thought my risk was low and stalled booking my appointment. My social life took priority until I eventually had the test a week or two before leaving the UK for 7 months for work. The smear test was quick, painless and not in the slightest bit embarrassing.
I assumed everything would be absolutely fine but a few weeks into living in Cyprus, a letter arrived at my home address with an appointment for a colposcopy. My smear test had shown up abnormal cells which needed to be investigated.
As I was now living outside of the UK, I couldn’t attend the appointment. I got my details faxed to Cyprus and made my own appointments there. I attended two tests, one with a painful biopsy with little to no explanation of what was happening due to the language barrier. I had to go home and Google everything that had happened in my appointments whilst I waited for my results. Trust me, don’t Google, it’s full of incorrect and terrifying information.
My biopsy results came back fine and I was advised that no treatment was needed but I would need my next smear test a lot sooner than the standard three year waiting time.
Thankfully, I was ok but it was still a really terrifying time not knowing what was happening to me. If I hadn’t stalled my appointment, I could have had everything done in the UK with clear information and advice instead of having to spend a great deal of time wracked with worry.
The point to my story is this: don’t stall. You receive your letter, book the god damn test. Chances are you are fine but wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? What do you value you more? 5 minutes or your health? Please don’t put off your test, attend your smear.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from Monday 22nd January – Sunday 28th January but is always important. Share your #smearforsmear to remind other women to attend their appointment.
All facts and information is from Jo’s Trust. This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way.