12 August 2011
Women in Jersey aged between 20 and 64 are being reminded of the importance of regular cervical screening, also known as a smear test, following the BBC soap Eastenders cervical cancer storyline.
This week, character Tanya Jessop, received the news that she may have cervical cancer following a routine smear test. The soap has worked closely with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, a national charity which highlights the issue of cervical cancer.
Jersey’s Public Health department is to launch a cervical screening awareness campaign in September. In the meantime, the Department recognises the Eastenders storyline may increase anxiety about cervical cancer and they are urging women in Jersey to make an appointment to be screened, particularly if they’ve missed a test or have never been screened.
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Fiona Nelson, said: “Cervical cancer can often be prevented through early diagnosis. This is why it’s crucial that women are screened regularly, with the current recommendation being every 3 years. Cervical screening can detect pre-cancerous cells, which if treated early, can prevent cancer from developing.
“I realise many women may feel embarrassed or nervous about cervical screening, particularly if they haven’t had a smear test before. However, it only takes 5 minutes and it could save your life. I’d urge women not to worry and to make an appointment with their GP or with the screening service at Le Bas Centre.”
Women who would like to book an appointment should contact Le Bas Centre on 443781 or their GP. A female doctor or nurse can be requested.