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Health experts appeal for cancer awareness

Local healthcare professionals have added their support to the appeal for better awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer and for women to act on them as the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust kicks off Cervical Cancer Prevention week which runs from 20 January.

Doctors and nurses at Deer Park Medical Centre in Witney have joined the call to emphasise the importance of attending regular cervical screening checks. They are also campaigning alongside Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to make women aware that abnormal bleeding, unusual discharge, discomfort/pain during sex and lower back pain can be symptoms of cervical cancer and should not be ignored.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a European wide initiative lead by European Cervical Cancer Association (ECCA). During the week posters and leaflets will be on display at Deer Park Medical Centre to help raise awareness.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 according to a survey commissioned by the charity, yet it found that a third more women would visit a doctor for a cold than a symptom of cervical cancer. The survey also found that reasons for not seeing a medical professional straight away after experiencing bleeding, pain or discomfort during or after sex included embarrassment, not thinking it was important enough, hoping it would get better on its own or simply putting it down to just being a part of what a woman goes through.

Every year in theUK, over 2,800 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly 1,000 women will die from the disease. In addition around 300,000 women are told each year that they have a cervical abnormality that might require treatment. Regular screening can detect abnormalities that might become cancerous in the future, but knowledge of symptoms and having the confidence to visit a doctor can also help in the battle to prevent cervical cancer.

Robert Music, director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “We are very concerned about awareness levels of this disease and that’s why, through Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, we are calling for all women to take note of the disease’s symptoms, as well as seek medical advice. Similarly we are also asking medical professionals to make their patients aware through face to face contact and by displaying our awareness materials.”

Dr Kohli, a GP at Deer Park Medical Centre, said: “Anyone who has missed a recent screening appointment, is worried about symptoms or who is concerned about cervical cancer should make an appointment to see us or their GP as soon as possible. Cervical cancer can be treated effectively if detected early on, but it is also largely preventable and regular screening is essential.”

ENDS

Media enquiries
Russell Elliott, Virgin Care. Telephone: 020 7380 1794
Robert Music, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Telephone: 020 7936 7498

www.deerparkmedicalcentre.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

Virgin Care

  • Provides local NHS services, so that the care patients receive is free at the point of delivery
  • Operates over 170 NHS services including community-based intermediate NHS services, GP-led walk-in and healthcare centres, urgent care centres, out of hours, sexual health services, community diagnostics and GP practices.
  • Is a well-established provider of high quality NHS services with a successful track record of delivering services that patients really value.
  • Services offer improving accessibility, convenience and most importantly deliver improved health outcomes – providing good value for the NHS.
  • Has treated over 2.5 million NHS patients.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

  • Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 21-27 January 2013
  • Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (www.jostrust.org.uk) National Helpline 0808 802 8000
  • Around three women in the UK die each day from cervical cancer, with someone being diagnosed every three hours facing an uncertain future. Over 300,000 women a year are told they may have a cervical abnormality that could require treatment.
  • It is estimated that the NHS Cervical Screening Programme saves 5,000 lives every year. Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which can be caught as soon as you start having intimate relationships
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