Sunday 28th January to Saturday 3rd February marks European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Each year over 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ireland. Like all cancers, the earlier cervical cancer is found, the better it can be treated. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer is very important.
* Abnormal vaginal bleeding. For example, bleeding in between your periods, after sex or after the menopause.
* Blood-stained vaginal discharge that may have a foul smell.
* Discomfort or pain in your pelvis.
For more information on cervical cancer click here If you have any of the above symptoms, get them checked out by your GP. But remember they can occur in many conditions other than cancer.
Through CervicalCheck (which is a government-funded National Cervical Screening Programme), women aged 25 to 60 can avail of regular free cervical screening from a registered GP, nurse or family planning clinic of their choice every 3 years and women aged 44 to 60 every five years. Since CervicalCheck was launched in September 2008, it has provided over 2 million (2,127,000) free smear tests and more than 1 million (1,023,000) women have had at least one smear test. Over 78% of the population of women aged 25 to 60 years have participated in cervical screening with CervicalCheck during the past 5 years.
The Pearl of Wisdom campaign calls on women to check when their next free cervical screening is due by visiting the CervicalCheck website or calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.