Senior Dumfriesshire practice nurse Janette Anderson has encouraged women not to ignore their invite as a smear test can stop cervical cancer before it starts.
She said: “The message we want to get across this Cervical Screening Awareness Week is that that we’re here waiting to help protect you from cervical cancer.
“I’ve done hundreds, if not thousands, of smear tests during my career and afterwards, most women – especially those that it’s their first time – are surprised by how quickly it’s all over.
“Of course, it can be a nervous time for some women but, remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question, that’s what we’re here for.”
She added: “So, don’t ignore your invite when it pops through your letterbox, or forget about it completely, it could save your life.”
Recent statistics highlight that 75.2 per cent of eligible women in the NHS Dumfries and Galloway area have taken up the offer of their smear test.
But Janette and the region’s other nurses hope that even more will take part the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme, so more lives will be saved.
A smear test checks the cells of a woman’s cervix and is designed to pick up any changes so that they can be monitored or treated. Without treatment the changes can sometimes develop into cervical cancer.
Six women in Scotland are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week, however women are nine times more likely to survive when it’s found at an early stage compared to a late stage2.
The test is routinely offered to all women in Scotland aged 25-49 every three years, with women aged 50 to 64 invited every five years – helping save around 5000 lives every year in the UK.
For more information visit www.getcheckedearly.org