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People in NHS Grampian urged to attend smear test

By David Porter

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Those eligible for cervical screening in NHS Grampian are being urged to go for a smear test when invited as part of a new campaign.

With two people dying from cervical cancer in the UK every day, NHS Grampian is backing the new Scottish Government campaign, encouraging people not to ignore their invite – even if they expect everything is fine.

Cervical cancer is largely preventable and screening is the best way to protect against the disease, yet one in three women in Scotland still don’t go for the five-minute smear test that can stop cervical cancer before it starts.

The campaign also provides tips and reassurance around the appointment to help people overcome barriers to attending, such as embarrassment or worry.

Professor Shantini Paranjothy, honorary consultant public health medicine, NHS Grampian said: “Going for your smear test is the best way to protect yourself against cervical cancer, so I’d encourage those eligible to attend when invited. The test checks for HPV and cell changes, helping identify those who are at higher risk of cervical cancer.

“We’re keen to reassure those who may put off going for their smear that those who carry out the tests are trained to make you feel as comfortable as possible at the appointment. I’d encourage anyone worried to talk to your GP or nurse so they can give you the right support and help make the appointment better for you.”

Minister for Public Health Maree Todd said: “A five-minute smear test could save your life.

"Even if you expect everything is fine, it’s important not to ignore your invite, as the test can help stop cervical cancer before it starts.

“The test screens for human papillomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer, and helps ensure cell changes are identified and treated earlier.

“This campaign has been developed to encourage more eligible people to attend and ultimately save more lives. It’s understandable some may feel anxious about the smear test itself, but information and advice are available to help make your appointment easier.”

For further information, visit getcheckedearly.org

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