Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2022 – June 20 – 26
Cervical Screening Awareness Week is an annual event which will run from 20th to 26th June 2022. The week aims to highlight the importance of regular cervical screening for women’s health.
Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in women under 35 with two women in the UK per day dying from the disease. Regular cervical screening appointments can prevent up to 75% of instances of cervical cancer, saving 5000 lives per year. Despite this, many women are reluctant to have this test done with a quarter of women not responding to their screening invitation. Cervical Screening Awareness Week is organised by the charity Jo’s trust, a charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer or abnormalities.
Cervical Screening Awareness week aims to encourage all women to have regular cervical screening as well as to provide information and reassurance around any fears or embarrassment that women may have concerning taking the test.
During the week there will be information stands at GP surgeries, workplaces and sports centres, fundraising events and a social media campaign where women are urged to tell their stories relating to cervical cancer and cervical screening.
More information about Cervical Screening Awareness Week and information about cervical cancer and cervical screening itself can be found on the Jo’s Trust website www.jostrust.org.uk or from your local GP’s office.
Cervical Screening Saves Lives Campaign
The NHS and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust report that Cervical Screening is one of the best ways women can protect themselves from cancer but one in three women don’t attend.
Cervical screening coverage for the total target age group (25 to 64 years) fell from 76% in 2010/11 to 71% in 2017/18, then increased slightly to 72% in 2019/20. 15.5 million women were eligible for cervical screening in 2019/20 and 11 million women were screened within the specified target period.
Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England launched a national campaign in 2019/20 to encourage all eligible women not to ignore their cervical screening invitation or if they have missed their last cervical screening appointment, to book an appointment with their GP practice. As the nation emerges from a two-year Covid pandemic, it’s time to get a screening appointment in the diary and to re-launch the awareness campaign.
Two women die every day from cervical cancer and Public Health England and the NHS have requested help to reduce this number.
Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a significant impact on cervical cancer mortality since it was established in 1988 and screenings save an estimated 5,000 lives per year, which is why it’s vital that the CWU continues its support to encourage women members to attend their screening appointments.
The target audience is all eligible women aged 25 – 64, and in particular women aged 25 – 35 as they are the least likely to currently book their cervical screening check.
There are also some small sub-groups who are disproportionately less likely to participate – including women from ethnic minorities, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and lesbian and bisexual women. The campaign is designed to include these groups.
- 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 awareness of cervical cancer prevention remains 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 campaign aims:
- Highlight and Remind women of the risk of cervical cancer.
- Highlight the importance and preventative benefits of screening and the often misunderstood screening test.
- Dispel feelings of unease or embarrassment around getting screened.
- Encourage women to respond to their cervical screening invitations.
- Encourage women to consider booking an appointment if they have missed previous invitations.
- Tackle barriers to screening highlighted by research, issues such as fear and embarrassment.
Why support for the campaign is needed:
- Cervical screening saves lives – encourage women members to get screened if they are overdue a test.
- Don’t ignore cervical screening invitations.
- If you or someone you know has missed their last screening, book an appointment with the GP practice now.
- The more women we can encourage to get their screening done, the better. That’s why we need everyone’s help to spread the word.
NHS Website “What is Cervical Screening (The Smear Test) Including a Video, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust –Helpline & ‘Ask The Expert’ Support:
If anyone has a question, wants reliable information, confidential and professional support or just needs to hear a friendly voice then Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are always ready, keen and willing to assist via their expertly staffed free helpline. You can contact them by phone or email. Call the Helpline on 0808 802 8000 (Helpline opening times vary).
Also available is the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Medical Panel who are all qualified medical professionals including GPs, Nurse Colposcopists, Gynaecologists and Gynaecological Oncologists. All the experts kindly volunteer their time and expertise. Enquiries and questions can be sent via the Website at this link: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-support/ask-expert
No question is too big or small and those calling can do so for themselves, a partner, a family member, a friend or colleague.
Questions commonly asked are; what is a cervical screening/smear test, what do the results mean, fertility, coping with life after cancer, about HPV and vaccination, colposcopy, cervical cell changes, feeling worried about symptoms, trying to come to terms with a recent diagnosis, the next steps, finding support and needing to talk to someone.
‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’
Established in 1999, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. As Branches and Regions will know, the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department established a close working relationship with ‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’ in 2009 and has worked with the charity and supported their campaigns since then and proudly we are the only Trade Union listed with our Logo on their ‘Time To Test’ supporter’s page. The CWU has been active in campaigning on this issue for years, supporting Cervical Screening Awareness Week and we will be supporting it again this year, continuing our strong working links with ‘Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’ as we have done in the past, supporting the ‘HPV Vaccination’ campaign, ‘Put Yourself in The Picture’ campaign, the ‘Smear For Smear’ campaign, and the ‘Time to Test’ campaign with the CWU Logo on the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Website. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust was established in 1999 by James Maxwell after his wife Jo passed away from cervical cancer. I have met the late Jo Maxwell’s sister and the Jo’s Trust Chief Executive Robert Music on several occasions – both have thanked CWU for its support and we intend to continue that working relationship.
In line with CWU Conference Policy established with the carriage of Motion 38 (2009) and Motion 6 (2019) we will continue to support Cervical Screening Awareness raising campaigns and encourage Branches and Regions to cascade that support and awareness raising.
Contact Details for further information, resources and Helpline:
Address: Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust 7-14, Great Dover St, London SE1 4YR
Phone: 020 3096 8100
Helpline: 0808 802 8000
Resources & Further information and support can be found at:
- NHS Website – “What is Cervical Screening (The Smear Test) Including a Video, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/
- Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust – https://www.jostrust.org.uk/
- Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust “Ask The Expert” – https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-support/ask-expert
- Cervical Cancer Factsheet
- Cervical Screening Saves Lives Poster
- Cervical Screening Nothing To worry About Poster
- Cervical Screening Lasts 5 Minutes Poster
- Cervical Cancer Know The Symptoms Poster
We hope all Branches and Regional Health and Safety Forums will support this important campaign.
[Previous Cervical Cancer Campaign LTBs & Resources: 937/10, 938/10, 1064/10, 171/11, 172/11, 200/11, 036/12, 036/14, 242/14, 062/15, 370/16, 228/19 360/19.]
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer