The campaign called Smear Tests Save Lives is aimed at encouraging females aged between 25 and 64 to attend their smear, and remove barriers to access.
The CCG has launched new weekend smear clinics at Barbara Castle Way Health Centre in Blackburn to make it easier for women to attend. These clinics are held every Saturday and Sunday and are run by female nurses. Appointments can be booked through your GP surgery.
Posters promoting the campaign have been sent to all the beauty salons in Blackburn with Darwen. It is hoped that by displaying the posters in the salons, women will be reminded about the importance of attending their smear tests.
Some of the reasons women don’t attend can be emotional (fear, embarrassment or shame), considering themselves as low risk or not understanding what cervical screening is. Others want to attend screening but they struggle to find time.
Cervical cancer, the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under, can be prevented but the best way to do this is to attend your smear when invited. Currently in the UK, women are eligible for a smear test from the age of 25 to 64. Women aged 25 – 49 are invited every three years and women aged 50 – 64 are invited every five years.
One of the supportive beauty salons, Beauty Lounge 4 You, said: “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to support your campaign.”
Lynn Metcalfe at Beauty Box salon, another supportive salon, said: “We are happy to display your poster within our beauty salon and help support your cervical cancer campaign.”
Dr Neil Smith who is a local GP based at Oakenhurst Surgery, Barbara Castle Way Health centre, is GP of the year and has won multiple awards for his cancer work. Dr Smith said:
“Cervical screening only takes a matter of minutes. It detects changes in the cervix than can be treated before they become cancer. Screening saves lives, and we are committed to helping and encouraging all women to access this vital service. As with all cancers, the earlier a problem is spotted, the better the patient’s outcome.
“Early symptoms of cervical cancer can include abnormal bleeding or unpleasant discharge or pain after sex. If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment to see your doctor and get it checked out.”