[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]
Cervical Cancer Prevention week falls on the 25th-31st of January this year and is hoping to raise more awareness and support than ever before.
Everyday in the UK, nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three women will lose their lives to the disease. These odds can be reduced and prevented through the help of cervical screenings and the HPV vaccination programme. However, one in three young women fail to attend their screenings when invited, because they either think it is an embarrassing or painful test, or they simple believe it to be unnecessary.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is one of the leading charities of Cervical Cancer. They make it clear that ‘early detection of the disease is key in increasing survival rates, so educating everyone on the disease’ is essential. They explain that the screenings are designed to help save lives and detect abnormal cells on the cervix before they develop into cancer. It is important that people are aware of the risks, and even more important that they attend their screenings.
Robert Music, Chief Executive for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said; “Every day we see the devastating impact a cervical cancer diagnosis can have on both a woman and her loved ones. It’s now time that we see a shift in awareness of cervical cancer and an understanding of the importance of smear tests.”
In the past two years, the trust have accomplished countless achievements. They produced symptoms awareness videos, distributed over 90,000 materials and launched five new support groups across the UK. They even launched the ‘Put Yourself in The Picture’ campaign in 2014, which saw the utilisation of social media platforms, and people pledging to attend cervical screenings and sharing an image of them in a pink cardboard picture frame. This campaign even reached celebrities like Hannah Spearitt (S-Club 7) and Lauren Goodger (Shuuup), which helped to promote the Prevention Week.
All this hard work has definitely paid off, with the 2014 review showing a 3% increase in Twitter followers and a 5.4% increase in Facebook likes over the week. To some, these figures may not appear very high, but for the Trust, it shows promising results that more and more people are aware of cervical cancer and are going to get tested themselves. The trust also raised £773,582 last year, which saw a significant increase from last year’s income of £650,977.
The plans for 2015 are just as ambitious as ever. With social media being such a successful platform for campaigns, the trust launched #SmearForSmear at 11am on Sunday 25th January. They asked people to take a lipstick smear selfie (apply lipstick and smear across your cheek) and to nominate their friends to do the same, with the #SmearForSmear. This will allow them to reach many more women and help spread their prevention message. So make sure you get involved on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to donate!
There are also plenty of other activities and fundraising events you can get involved with all year round, ranging from cycling and walking to skydiving and mountain climbing. You can even organise your own events like cake sales, boot sales and dinner parties.
To find out more information or get yourself tested, you can go to the charity’s website or call them on 020 7250 8311.
The university can also provide you with advice and support about Cervical Cancer Prevention Week at the Students’ Union office. You can drop in at the Hutton Building Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
Send us your #SmearForSmear images @TridentMediaUK