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Don’t die from embarrassment - Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 21-27 January 2019

Health and LifestyleElizabeth Rees
Source:  Kimber Beck

Source: Kimber Beck

Did you know...Over 4,000 women’s lives in the UK are saved each year by the NHS - just because they attended their cervical screening appointments!

By turning up for their smear tests 75% of cervical cancers were PREVENTED!!

So why is attendance of this life saving test at its lowest in England for 19 years and lowest in Wales and Scotland for 10 years?

Embarrassment? Lack of knowledge? Cultural barriers? 

Since September 2017, when I launched my V Collection I have made it one of Eliza Eliza’s missions to get more people talking about Gynaecological health and raising awareness of the five gynaecological cancers - Vaginal, Vulval, Womb, Ovarian and Cervical (Remember these!)

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is 21-27 January 2019 

Are you up to date with your Cervical screening? It takes two minutes to make an appointment, five minutes to whip your knickers down and could save your actual LIFE!

Source: The Eve Appeal

Source: The Eve Appeal

What else can you do?

1. Know your body

Cervical Cancer doesn’t always show any signs until advanced stages but these are some of the Symptoms and signs to look out for:

  • Vaginal bleeding, especially after sex

  • Bleeding other than when you are on your period

  • Bleeding after the menopause

  • Pain/discomfort during sex

  • Unpleasant vaginal discharge

In many cases above symptoms are not related to cervical cancer but it is really important that if you have any concerns speak to your GP. It’s very difficult to embarrass a doctor...have you read This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay!

2. Talk about it

The best way to make something normal is to talk about it, not just with other women but men too.

Speaking honestly also helps to erase myths, it wasn’t that long ago that we were seeing blue ink being used in all tampon and sanitary towel adverts! I mean lets start with the basics at least!

3. Support The Eve Appeal

The only UK national charity raising awareness and funding research into the five gynaecological cancers (can you name them without scrolling up?)

This year for Cervical Cancer prevention week they are tackling the myths and telling the truths surrounding cervical cancer prevention.

If you have any questions you can contact them. Their Ask Eve service is run by gynae cancer specialist nurse Tracie Miles and Cancer information officer Karen Hobbs (who also just happens to be a very funny comedienne and speaks very openly about her experience when diagnosed with cervical cancer) You can check out her interview on Cherry Healey's podcast Letters to my Fanny  here

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Eliza Eliza’s V Collection, clutch bags and purses lined with a vulva design, aims to break the ice and get more women and men talking about gynaecological health. Shop yours here