It's that time of year again when I get naggy and very, very persistent. Not that I ever desist either of these things but this week in particular I'm getting stern. It is Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and I'm here to tell you all that you have to get yourself checked. First things first, I want you to read this, newcomers to the blog may not know that I have had cervical cancer, but I have and let me tell you smear testing saved my life. I had no symptoms, no issues yet I had cervical cancer. The fact that I DIDN'T ignore my screening saved my life.
Now around this time when I start talking about cervical screening, I start hearing excuses, lots and lots of excuses...Ain't nobody got time for excuses girls, let me hit you with some facts.
|Put yourself in the picture|
-1 in 5 women do not take up their cervical screening invitation, 1 in 3 in 25-34 year olds
-43% of 25-34 year olds have missed or delayed a cervical screening
-31% of 50-70 year olds don't consider cervical screening necessary for all women
-3 women A DAY die from cervical cancer
-Someone is diagnosed every three hours
-300,000 women a year are told that they have a cervical abnormality that could require treatment
Are you worried about it hurting?
Are you worried about the embarrassment?
Can you just not be bothered?
Do you think 'it's gross'?
Let me give you a slap right now. *Slaps* for a start it really isn't sore, it's a little uncomfortable sure, but it isn't sore. As for the embarrassment, your nurse does these every single day, they've seen it all and won't even bat an eyelid, I'm more astonished when women who HAVE CHILDREN, and have had people down there before tell me they're embarrassed to go, now come on! If you just can't be bothered then I have a double slap for you, give yourself a shake and go and get yourself checked for goodness sake. Finally for the women who think it's gross, not even kidding heard that one on the radio the other day, what the hell is wrong with you? There's nothing gross about it!
For those mystified at the process and just too embarrassed to ask, it's as simple as, little speculum in, not sore, not to be crude girls but most of you probably have larger things from Ann Summers, the nurse looks at your cervix and checks everything looks good on the surface, then she swipes it with a little cotton bud like gizmo that grabs the cells. That's it, 5 minutes max.
I've met quite a few women who seem to take great joy in waxing lyrical to anyone who will listen about how painful it is, and it just isn't. I encourage any of you who need to go and get their first smear, or at least have been putting off another, not to listen, everyone is different and I myself as a teen was put off because of a very vociferous friend who told me about the 'agony' you can imagine how silly I felt after I went and it wasn't.
The downright AMAZING people at Jo's Trust are doing their utmost to get you to 'Put Yourself in The Picture' their campaign asks you to visit Jo's Trust and take a selfie to pledge to attend your cervical screening and check out the new 'Put yourself in the picture' app which will be coming soon.
All I can say to you is this, wake up. For those of you who wear pink for breast cancer, who give up booze for cancer research awareness but are putting off your cervical smear, stop it. Cervical cancer kills young women, it kills young women like you, don't ignore it, or think because you don't have cervical cancer symptoms you don't need to be checked. Your cervical smear is a ten minute process every few years, come on you can manage that!
Now make a note, book your smear get it done. This goes for all the guys out there in a relationship, ask your lady when her last smear was and make sure she gets it done. Smears save lives, the fact I'm still here shows that.
Stern Face...get it done.