After all my talk of nobody sending letters anymore, I’ve received a letter.
It’s addressed to me personally and it’s an invitation.
No need to RSVP here…I just need to pick up the phone and arrange an appointment for my smear test.
This week, it’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Recent statistics suggest that number of women attending for their smear test has been steadily dropping since 2012, with one in four women not attending for their routine smear. In the 25 – 29 years age bracket, this drops to one in three women. Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing, which is really quite incredible. Every year cervical screening saves 5000 lives in the UK.
I can understand why some women find this daunting. The prospect of a stranger getting up close and personal with parts of my anatomy that I’m not that familiar with doesn’t exactly fill me with joy, however this is something nurses and doctors do every day. I’m fairly sure they view the nether regions in the same way that I do the reports that I read every day (each with their own imperfections!).
The whole thing takes a couple of minutes max and every effort is made to make you feel comfortable so that they can take the sample needed quickly and efficiently.
If you’re someone who likes to have a clear idea of what to expect on the day, there is loads of information available online about what happens before, during and after, which might help to set your mind at rest. You’ll have the next steps explained to you on the day; there is no such thing as a stupid question.
There’s some great information on the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website and they also offer support and advice to women and families affected by cervical cancer.
I’ve accepted my invitation…what have you done with yours?