Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: Early diagnosis saves lives

Published: 24 January 2024

Cervical cancer claims the lives of 700 women a year in the UK. But it does not have to be this way.

Cervical screening can identify the viruses that can cause cervical cancer, and each year the NHS screening programme in England saves 5,000 lives a year.

The HPV vaccine is also a significant tool in helping eradicate cervical cancer as it offers significant protection against these viruses.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is led by Jo’s Trust charity and runs until 28 January, aims to spread awareness of cervical screening and the HPV vaccine.

Anyone eligible for cervical screening is urged to come forward for a potentially life-saving appointment.

Screening involves taking a small sample of cells from the cervix and looking for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) that could develop into cervical cancer if left untreated. Eligible people aged between 25 to 64 are invited by letter every three-five years depending on their age, or more frequently if HPV or cell changes are detected.

Currently, a third of those eligible do not take up their screening invite. If you’ve been offered screening, but have not yet accepted, contact your GP now to book an appointment.

More information about cervical screening is available on the NHS website.

You can find out more on Cervical Cancer Prevention Week on the Jo’s Trust website  and look out for more information on our Twitter and Facebook channels.

You are welcome to join the free Cancel out Cancer sessions with local NHS volunteers. Cancel Out Cancer covers the importance of going to cervical, breast and bowel screening appointments, as well as how to spot symptoms and think about lifestyle changes.

You can sign up to a monthly online session run over Zoom, or request a face-face session for a local group. Just visit this site for more information on the ICB website.