Opinion

Cervical screening awareness week - #makeanappointment

10th June 2019

Cervical screening awareness week - #makeanappointment

It’s not often that lawyers willingly turn away work but, when it comes to something simple that every woman can do to avoid having to seek our advice, I welcome it with open arms.

That’s why I wholeheartedly welcome this week’s cervical screening awareness week. 

I’m an associate in Higgs & Sons’ clinical negligence team and I see many cases where medical procedures can go wrong.

Cervical screening, otherwise known as a smear test, is the best protection against cervical cancer. About 1 in 20 people will have an abnormal result after cervical screening.

Thankfully, cervical cancer is rare thanks to screening and early treatment -  did you know that 5000 lives a year are saved?

So how can we reduce the risk of cervical cancer?

1)      Attend cervical screening

2)      Know the symptoms:- abnormal bleeding, post-menopausal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse, lower back pain.

Cervical screening attendance is still very low. While the majority will be cancer free, some women who failed to attend screenings are missing early treatment and a possible cure.

So what are the reasons for non-attendance?

  • Embarrassment
  • Difficulty in accessing screening appointments
  • NHS IT failures
  • Finding time to attend
  • Fear of pain
  • Fear that the test will result in a diagnosis of cancer

In March 2019 the NHS started their first ever campaign to raise awareness for cervical cancer in line with the 10 year anniversary of Jade Goody.

#dontbeembarrassed #maketime #dontdelay #makeanappointment #fightcancer

The delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer can have devastating consequences. It is easy to put off something when it is difficult or unpleasant, but when the result could be a head-start against cancer, it is a must.

If you have had a delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer then please contact Kate Campbell Gunn in the  Higgs and Sons Clinical Negligence Team.

 

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