Campaign highlights importance of cancer test

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What’s more embarrassing...toilet roll stuck to your shoe; having your skirt tucked into your knickers or having a cervical screening test?

That’s what NHS Northamptonshire will be asking women in Corby as part of a series of events aimed at encouraging women to beat embarrassment and have a cervical screening test.

Studies show that the main reasons why women don’t attend their cervical screening appointments are embarrassment, fear of pain, and that they don’t have enough time, so a campaign called “No excuses” has been launched by NHS Northamptonshire.

The campaign aims to promote cervical screening to women aged 25-29, addressing the main barriers to screening and letting them know that if caught early, cervical cancer can often be easily treated.

As part of the campaign, a video of cheeky flashmobs in Northampton, Leicester and Coalville is also being released – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZzthnYXgtM. The Northampton flashmob took place on Abington Street and featured women with their skirts tucked in their knickers walking down the street to the sound of “Here Come the Girls” to the amusement of Saturday shoppers. The message was that having your skirt tucked into your knickers in public is embarrassing, but having a cervical screen is not. It’s normal.

The outreach teams will be in Corby town centre and Morrisons on Saturday, March 16, from 10am to 6pm, talking to women about cervical screening, and handing out useful information.

Almost 3,400 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year – that’s nine women every day. It is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. The national screening target is to screen 80 per cent. In Northamptonshire, screening rates among women aged 25-29 were significantly lower than this national target at 66 per cent in 2012.

For more information about cervical screening, visit www.noexcuses-nhs.co.uk.