It’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is a ruddy good job, because, had it not been, the letter from my Doctor prompting me to book my actual smear test, that arrived months ago and has been sat on my desk ever since (along with it’s follow up/reminder) might not have been actioned for I don’t know how long.
The dangers of forgetting to book your test aren’t lost on me; I’ll never forget hearing the news amidst the joy of our wedding day, that Jade Goody, she of Big Brother fame, being close to death. She died two days later from cervical cancer. I’m also a mother of two and one of my worst fears is leaving my children’s lives early early – them being motherless and me not being around to witness the joy of them grow up (it’s not something I dwell on, but reaching my 40’s certainly has created more of those internal what if? conversations, and generally forced me to get things like life assurance policies in order. The will is next up – and that’s a whole new blog feature).
It is however a reflection of the busy, busy lives we lead that I’d completely forgotten to book my test this time. But know this…
Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Did you know that Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary? I hadn’t realised that in 99.7% of cases, cervical cancers are caused by persistent infections with a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). Through The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website, I have also learn that “HPV is a very common virus transmitted through skin to skin contact in the genital area. Around four out of five sexually active adults (80%) will be infected with some type of HPV in their lives. However, for the majority of women this will not result in cervical cancer. While HPV infection is common, cervical cancer is rare.”
I had no. idea. about. this. at. all.
And I urge you to take the time to visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to find out more. It is through this website I discovered the #smearforsmear campaign, which prompted me, shortly before I picked up my daughter from school today, to telephone my Doctor and finally respond to my appointment letter.
Smear tests save lives.
And so in pay it forward style, I’m joining the #smearforsmear campaign and supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in their mission is to see cervical cancer prevented and reduce the impact for everyone affected by cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer through providing the highest quality information and support, and campaigning for excellence in cervical cancer treatment and prevention.
I’m booked in for 09:30am this Wednesday? When did you last have a smear?