Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Health leaders covering Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington issue advice

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance have issued some top tips to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
January is cervical cancer awareness month.January is cervical cancer awareness month.
January is cervical cancer awareness month.

The Cancer Alliance is urging people to adopt a few simple measures to reduce their risk of cervical cancer – which kills around 853 people in the UK each year.

It is estimated that one in 142 females or people with a cervix will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime.

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With almost all (98.8%) cervical cancer cases being preventable, you can reduce your risk by following these steps:

1. Attend cervical screening appointments and get vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, looks for conditions that may lead to cervical cancer which can be detected years before cancer develops.

Cervical screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

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Women and people with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 are invited for screening every three or five years (depending on your age) but one in three people invited to a cervical screening appointment do not take up the offer.

2. Be clued up about cervical cancer

Early detection increases your chances of surviving cervical cancer so knowing what symptoms to look out for is important.

Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

· Vaginal bleeding that's unusual for you – including bleeding during or after sex, between your periods or after the menopause, or having heavier periods than usual

· Changes to your vaginal discharge

· Pain during sex

· Pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis), or in your lower stomach.

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The Cancer Alliance’s Cancer Champions programme is running bite-sized cervical cancer education sessions during January.

3. Spread the word about cervical cancer to raise awareness

The Cancer Alliance will be spreading the word about cervical cancer across many channels throughout January using the hashtag #PreventCervicalCancer.

People can show support for the campaign by sharing the Cancer Alliance’s posts on social media channels.

Throughout January, Cancer Alliance colleagues and partners will be out in the community to spread awareness about cervical cancer symptoms and preventative measures.

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Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “Cervical cancer is the most preventable cancer so it is recommended that you attend your cervical screening appointment if you are invited – it takes just 10 minutes to complete and could end up saving your life.

“We need the public’s support to ensure all women and people with a cervix are equipped with the knowledge to reduce their risk of developing so please spread the word across social media and other channels using the hashtag #PreventCervicalCancer.”

Visit the Cancer Alliance’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month webpage to find out more.