Hadleigh: Jasmine Salisbury supports the campaign against cervical cancer

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Released:
7:30 a.m., February 20, 2022



A campaign was launched to try to increase screening for cervical cancer after figures showed one in four in the east of England did not report for screening.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) initiative ‘Help us help you – cervical cancer screening saves lives’, with support from the NHS, is urging women and those who may be eligible to return their invitation to cervical cancer screening not to be ignored.

In January, Hadleigh’s mother-of-two, Jasmine Salisbury, 28, urged women to have a pap smear after she herself was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

She described how she wished she had seen a doctor sooner after symptoms started appearing in February 2019, but postponed an appointment because she didn’t want to be checked while she was bleeding.

She told EADT: “It’s really worrying to hear that uptake of cervical screening has gone down. From speaking to others I know that some have missed their appointment due to concerns about Covid and others are too embarrassed or nervous.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of screening, looking for abnormal cells which, if found early enough, can be easily treated.”

Each year in England around 2,700 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and around 690 women die from the disease – about two deaths a day.

Previous estimates suggest that screening prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths, but 83% of deaths could be prevented if everyone attended regularly.

A survey commissioned by DHSC in England as part of the campaign found that shame was the most common reason for not attending or missing an appointment.

The second most common was simply “procrastinate,” followed by “fear it would be painful.”

Maria Caulfield, Secretary of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care, said: “Around two women die from cervical cancer every day, but screening takes only minutes and can stop the disease before it starts.

“Through our new campaign, we are calling on all women and people with a cervix to get screened to help save hundreds of lives. Even if you feel embarrassed or nervous, please do not ignore your invitation.”

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