It’s National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week 2021 this week and the theme is it’s “Time to Catch Up.” So many of us have been in lockdown or coping with the impact of the pandemic, we haven’t kept up-to-date with our cervical screening so we need to “Catch Up.”
By raising awareness of cervical cancer during this week, the World health Organisation is hoping to build on its Vision of a world where cervical cancer is eliminated as a public health problem by 2030.
So, here are the top five things every woman aged between 25 and 72 (or anyone with a cervix) needs to know about cervical cancer:
It is preventable
This might come as a surprise but cervical cancer — which is a cancer that starts in lining of the cervix — is one of the only truly preventable cancers when cervical screening is kept up to date. No one with a cervix needs to suffer from cervical cancer, it is entirely preventable.
There are alternatives to cytology
Conventional screening methods, such as cytology – or pap smears – and HPV DNA testing, are effective tests which can detect changes in cervical cells that lead to cancer. These screening methods have made it possible for cervical cancer to be prevented but they some women find them uncomfortable and because of this, they don’t book a screening in regularly.
There are some alternatives to these kinds of tests which have been invented including TruScreen – a Sydney-based medical company – which has developed an alternative technology to detect cervical cancer. This method is based on a quick screen of the cervical area and these will make it quicker and easier for women to be screened.
It is the 4th most common cancer in women worldwide
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide with about 569,000 new cases diagnosed annually and over 311,000 women die from cervical cancer every year.
Over 85 per cent of women who die from cervical cancer come from low- and middle-income countries, and new low-cost technologies such as the one from TruScreen will help to tackle cervical cancer and working towards elimination in these countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) wants to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health issue by 2030
November 17 is the one year anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative to completely eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.
WHO says: “Cervical cancer is one cancer the world can actually eliminate: it’s time to do it.”
The initiative is global in scale and can only become a reality if every woman has access to screening technologies and more importantly – everyone with a cervix goes to have a screening once a year.
It is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week
The theme of this year’s week is “Time to Catch Up” — because with the uncertainty and impact of the pandemic, more and more women have fallen behind in keeping up-to-date with their cervical screening. It’s crucial that these routine screenings are conducted because cervical cancer can be prevented with simple screening test like this.
If you have a cervix and you’re aged between 25-74 then it’s “Time to Catch Up” and contact your doctor for a cervical screening and take one more step to eliminating cervical cancer for good.
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