Doncaster Rovers Belles kick off their support for local ‘Fear or Smear’ campaign

Doncaster Rovers Belles team photoNext week (13-19 June), is Cervical Screening Awareness Week and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Screening team have teamed up with Doncaster Rovers Belles to urge women to attend their cervical screening appointments.

It is estimated that early detection and treatment through cervical screening can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing. The ‘Fear or Smear’ campaign aims to dispel any myths or fears women may have around attending their cervical screening.

The Belles have been sharing their fears to highlight how attending routine smear tests are not as bad as some of their fears of flying, spiders and heights, just to name a few.

In South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw approximately 3 in 4 eligible women are attending their cervical screening (smear test) appointments.

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years. If you are aged between 25 and 49 you will receive an appointment every three years, aged between 50 and 64 every five years and if you are 65+ you will only be screened if you haven’t had a smear test since the age of 50 or have had recent abnormal tests.

Women who have missed their cervical screening appointment are encouraged to contact their local GP to book an appointment. You can visit the new “Fear or Smear” website which may help answer any concerns you may have, dispel any myths or fears, and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Tracey Turner, NHS England’s Screening and Immunisation Coordinator and lead on Cervical Screening for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, said: “It is incredibly important that all women of eligible age attend their cervical screening appointments. Research shows that younger women aged 25-49 in South Yorkshire are less likely to attend a smear test which is obviously a concern, as cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged under 35, with 8 women a day being diagnosed with the disease in the UK. It can be prevented and the best way for women to protect themselves against cervical cancer is by taking up their cervical screening appointments.”

Julie Grundy, Doncaster Belles’ first team assistant coach, said: “I encourage all women to attend their cervical screening appointment, it’s imperative you go as it’s easier to detect at an early stage. I had abnormal cells picked up and so I’m so glad I went for screening. My fear is snakes and I am much more scared of these than attending my appointment.

“I would encourage you to visit the “Fear or Smear” website where there is lots of information on preparing for your smear test, including facts about the process and stories from other women.”

Cervical screening is NOT a test to find cancer. It is a screening test to detect changes to the cells of the cervix or neck of the womb. These are called cervical abnormalities or precancer cells.

Don’t let your fears stop you from taking the test. Find out more at https://fearorsmear.dbh.nhs.uk  and share your stories today.

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