This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (18th to 24th January) and women are being urged to take up their invitation for a routine cervical screening appointment.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer for women under 35, although it can occur at any age.
Cervical cancer is caused when a woman is infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although most HPV infections are benign, in some cases, the virus can cause abnormalities in cells which can become cancerous.
Cervical screening identifies HPV infections – and the cell changes they cause – before cancer can develop. Women aged 25-49 should be screened once every three years and women aged 50-64 should be screened once every five years.
Women aged over 25 can book their first cervical screening through their GP or through the Le Bas Centre. Appointments are free of charge and can be conducted by a female GP.
In the last five years in Jersey, 20 women have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, and one to two women die every year. In 2020, roughly 5490 women attended a cervical screening appointment.
Jersey’s Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor, said: “We hope to see the number of women attending cervical screening increase in 2021, despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
“That’s why we’re working to educate the whole community, especially the most vulnerable groups; who may have limited access to information and those who are at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer.”