Cervical Screening Awareness Campaign Month – June 2016: PHE & Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust
Following Motion 38 (2009) carried at the Union’s 2009 Conference, correspondence and meetings took place with ‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’ which established a long-standing working relationship, involving the CWU providing support and assistance to the Charity in raising awareness and providing better, easily accessed information for CWU members and their families, and at the same time supporting ‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’ campaigning objectives. Motion 6 (2019) was carried on the subject of Cervical Cancer Screening campaigning, however the Health, Safety & Environment department has been very active in campaigning on this issue for years. We will continue to support Cervical Screening Awareness raising campaigns and encourage Branches and Regions to cascade that support and awareness raising. We are additionally discussing with the major employers support for the ‘Time to Test’ campaign and encouraging women staff to attend screening.
The CWU has a strong, long-working link and relationship with ‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’ and we’ve supported the successful ‘HPV Vaccination campaign’, the ‘Put Yourself in The Picture’ campaign, the ‘Smear For Smear’ campaign and we are registered supporters of the ‘Time to Test’ campaign with the CWU Logo being the only Trade Union Logo on the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust supporters organisations Website Page! I have personally met Jo’s Sister and Jo’s Trust CEO Robert Music on several occasions in meetings and at lobbying events – both have thanked CWU for its support and asked me to pass their thanks on to our Reps, Branches and members.
Cervical Screening Awareness National Campaign led by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. Their aim is to offer information, support and friendship to women of all ages, to help them to understand the importance of cervical screening, and to provide their own personal brand of support if their screening shows up abnormalities or if they are diagnosed with cancer.
What is cervical screening (a smear test)?
Cervical screening is a free health test that helps prevent cervical cancer. It checks for cell changes (abnormal cells) on your cervix caused by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). It is not a test for cancer.
You might hear cervical screening being called a smear test. This is just a different name for the same test.
In the UK, Women are automatically invited for cervical screening if they are:
- between the ages of 25 to 64
- registered as female with a GP surgery.
Women are invited:
- every 3 years between age 25 and 49
- every 5 years between age 50 and 64.
Women may get their first invite up to 6 months before turning 25 and an appointment can be booked as soon as the invite is received.
It is very rare to develop cervical cancer:
- under the age of 25
- over the age of 64, if a woman has had regular cervical screening.
Any woman worried about any symptoms, should get them checked by their doctor or nurse, whatever their age.
Cervical Screening – Why is it important?
Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing in the UK yet one in four women do not attend cervical screening when invited. Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a significant impact on cervical cancer mortality since it was established in 1988, saving an estimated 5,000 lives a year. However, women attending for Cervical Screening is at a 20-year low. Figures published by NHS Digital show that the percentage of eligible women (aged 25 to 64) attending for screening has dropped to 71%. The national target for cervical screening coverage is 80% with coverage at its lowest amongst those women aged 25 – 35. Earlier this year Public Health England launched its first ever national multimedia cervical screening campaign. See LTB No. 228/2019 dated 12 April 2019 on the PHE ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives Campaign’.
The Campaign target audience is all eligible women aged 25 – 64.
The campaign aims are to:
- Highlight the risks of cervical cancer.
- Highlight the preventative benefits of the often misunderstood screening test.
- Encourage women of all ages to respond to their screening invitation.
- Encourage women to consider booking an appointment if they have missed previous invitations.
- Aim to tackle barriers to screening highlighted by research, issues such as fear and embarrassment.
The PHE Campaign launched earlier this year in March and the Jo’s Trust Campaign this month focus is on all things to do with Cervical Cancer including information about symptoms and causes of the disease, ways to prevent it and importantly encouraging women to attend screening.
Did you know?
- 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer yet there are steps women can take to prevent it from affecting them. Despite this in the UK 30% of women do not take up their invitation for cervical screening. Raising public awareness of cervical cancer prevention is more necessary than ever.
- Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed – 3000 a year and 2 women die of cervical cancer every day – 750 a year.
- Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease.
- In the UK, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35.
- The most common symptoms of cervical cancer are:
- Bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse.
- Post-menopausal bleeding, if you are not on HRT or have stopped it for six weeks.
- Smelly discharge from the vagina.
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a common virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
- You can catch the virus, called HPV as soon as you start having intimate relationships.
- Cervical screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways to reduce your risk of getting cervical cancer.
- HPV vaccination protects against two types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancers.
- Screening in England and Northern Ireland starts at 25 and ends at 64, in Wales it is 20 to 64 and Scotland 20 to 60*.
- Smoking increases your risk of getting cervical cancer.
What You Can Do
The Health, Safety & Environment Department wants all Branches and Health and Safety Reps to get involved and help us raise awareness. Branches and Reps can run campaigns and activities locally at a time when it suits them. It doesn’t have to be at any specific time or date. Raising awareness in your Branch area is often one of the best and most effective ways of reaching a high number of members and planning it in your programme is probably the best way of going about it.
Examples of how you could reach and raise awareness amongst members in your local branch area include:
- Display Public Health England or Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust posters and leaflets in Offices, Depots.
- Distribute leaflets in Offices and Depots.
- Ask local management to allow posters to be put up e.g., in women’s toilets etc.
- Run a stand or tables with leaflets at your branch area Offices, Depots etc.
- Organise an event with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust – invite a speaker from the Charity.
- Articles on Branch Websites and in Branch Magazines.
Order Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust publications and Materials to display and hand out
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust can send you materials to display and hand out or you can download your own from the Charity’s resource centre. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has a series of comprehensive materials available for you to download. The materials are organised into two categories: fundraising and information. All the factsheets have been refereed by members of their expert medical panel. If you want to order hard copies of any of their campaign materials, please fill in a materials order form or download a form and send your order to:
– See all the available materials and resources at this Website link:-
– Email to: email@example.com
If you want more information contact Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust:-
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust,
7-14 Great Dover Street,
London, SE1 4YR
The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Helpline for members is 0808 802 8000
The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust helpline is open regularly throughout the week. It’s an opportunity to talk things through with someone who cares. All of the volunteers on the helpline have experience of either cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities and they have all received training to provide information and support on a very wide range of topics.
- A Smear Test Lasts 5-Minutes Poster
- Cervical Screening Fact Sheet (Jo’s Trust)
- NHS Cervical Cancer Screening Leaflet
- Spread The Word – Cervical Cancer Symptoms Poster (Jo’s Trust)
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer