News Ticker

Is Cervical Cancer only for 25 to 65 year old women?

Summary

  •  Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (25-31 January 2015).
  • New statistics show cases of cervical cancer in women aged under 35 are up almost 4% since 2014 and 33% on 10 years ago.
  • New Smear for Smear Campaign Launched.

Original Author: JT Risk Briefing
Original Link: NA

Content

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (25-31 January 2015) and it has been pasted all over our social networking sites as the new Smear for Smear campaign is advertised urging women to take a lipstick smeared selfie to highlight how important a smear test is.

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-01-25/smearforsmear-charity-urges-public-to-join-smeared-lipstick-selfies-campaign-for-cervical-cancer/

New statistics show cases of cervical cancer in women aged under 35 are up almost 4% since 2014 and 33% on 10 years ago.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2926486/Cervical-cancer-rates-35s-soar-60-number-having-smear-tests-falls-time-low.html

One in three young women fail to attend their screenings and figures show one in five think the test is unnecessary. In 2008 young women such as myself where offered a vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is the virus that causes cervical cancer. But even medical experts say this does not mean you are fully protected.

Which brings me to one of the main focuses of the Smear for Smear campaign, why is it advertising free screening for women 25-65 but anyone younger or older than this is not in the picture?

After some research I found out that for women over 65 if the last three tests came in and were normal it is very unlikely they will develop cervical cancer after this age.

But for women under 25 the excuses seemed to range from so many different things such as ‘It causes more harm than good’, ‘sexually active women are advised to have a test before the age of 25’.

The UK used to screen young women from the age of 20 but changed it to 25 in 2003. ‘Cervical cancer is rare in women under 25, but it’s not impossible.’ If you are under 25 and feel you are experiencing symptoms you do have the right to have a smear test and even though I think these campaigns are great, are younger women going to feel the need to be checked if nothing is aimed at them?

If it keeps getting plastered all over social media that it is only women aged 25 – 65 is everyone else outside that age gap educated enough to know it can still happen to them?

You only have to google it to find loads of stories about young women under 25 who unfortunately have died from cervical cancer either because the test wasn’t offered or when they asked for the test they were told it would be something else not cancer without even being checked. These stories range from as young as 18 so just because it is a lot more common in 25 – 65 year olds why should everyone else be pushed aside like it 100% will not happen, when the truth is it can.

I still urge everyone to do their absolute best in supporting these campaigns and help the best they can but please if you are under 25 don’t just ignore it because it isn’t aimed at you, educate yourself and others.

Related Links

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/cervical-cancer/

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-cervix/Pages/Introduction.aspx