Thursday 19 January 2023
A Global Strategy for cervical cancer elimination was launched by the World Health Organisation in 2020 and is the focus of this year's cervical cancer prevention week (23-29 January 2023).
Cervical cancer is preventable and curable, and it is believed that we now have the tools to make cervical cancer a thing of the past. HPV vaccination, cervical screening and treatment for cell changes can all help prevent it.
This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (23-29 January), women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 years are being encouraged to go for their free screening appointment when they are invited, and employers are being asked to help them find time for this quick and important appointment.
Cervical screening detects Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection passed between people through skin-to-skin and sexual contact which is the main cause of cervical cancer. If HPV is detected the screening sample will then be checked for any underlying abnormalities of the cervical cells.
When invited eligible islanders should attend their free screenings regularly (every three years for those aged 25-50 years, and every five years for those aged 50-64 years) as HPV can lie dormant for many years.
Diane Mathews, Strategy Lead for Screening, said:
'It is extremely important that people take advantage of this free service. Cervical screening is a vital test that can detect the first signs of cervical disease which means treatment can be given early before any abnormal cells turn cancerous.'
All year 8 students are offered HPV vaccination through the Childhood Vaccinations Programme, and this is completely free of charge. If a person missed their school vaccination it is still available to people before their 25th birthday if they were born female after 1 September 1991 and if they were born male after 1st September 2006. The vaccination helps protect against cancers caused by HPV including cervical cancer and some mouth and throat cancers. More information can be found at https://gov.gg/childvaccines
More Information on the Cervical Screening Programme can be found at https://gov.gg/screening