24 January 2012 | Anna Barbour | Gynaecology Outpatients Sister | The Portland Hospital
The week of the 22nd to 28th January 2012 is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. This is a European wide initiative lead by European Cervical Cancer Association (ECCA). The Week provides an opportunity to focus on all aspects of cervical cancer including information about symptoms and causes of the disease and ways to prevent it.
Every day in the UK 3 women will die from cervical cancer with another 8 being diagnosed and facing an uncertain future. Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Despite this in the UK in 2011, 20% of women did not take up their invitation for cervical screening, with only about half of women aged 20-24 attending. Raising awareness of cervical cancer prevention is more necessary than ever.
The Department of Health recommends that women between the ages of 25-64 years have routine cervical smears every three to five years as part of the NHS Screening Programme (Department of Health Cervical Screening Programme Guidelines 2006).
This week The Portland Hospital will be supporting this initiative by hosting ‘road show’ style events throughout the hospital.
On Monday a session was held in the staff canteen allowing staff to discuss all aspects of cervical cancer prevention and how the Nurse Led Clinic at The Portland Hospital can be utilised by staff from our facility. Anna Barbour, which works in the Portland’s Gynaecology Outpatients department, was available to discuss this service to staff members. The hospital pharmacists were also on hand to discuss the Human PapIllomavirus (HPV) and vaccination against this virus.
On Thursday and Friday this week the team will be visiting the gynaecology outpatient areas to allow our patients the opportunity to discuss cervical cancer prevention and also to inform patients of the self-referral process to the Nurse Led Clinic.
During the course of the week a fundraising collection has been in progress and all monies raised will go toward Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, which is UK’s only charity dedicated to those affected by cervical abnormalities or cervical cancer.
Anna Barbour, Gynaecology Outpatients Sister commented ‘Cervical screening is very important as early detection is vital. Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that is preventable as pre-cancerous changes can be detected on smear tests before they have a chance to develop into cancer.
The screening test involves the doctor or nurse taking a small sample of cells from the cervix. This is carried out by inserting an instrument called a speculum inside the vagina and sampling the cells with a small soft brush. These cells are placed in a liquid based solution and sent to the laboratory for testing. This is called liquid based cytology.
As a healthcare professional in women’s health I greatly value the great work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in increasing awareness of cervical cancer and the need for regular cervical screening.’
If you have concerns or would like to arrange a cervical smear test please contact The Portland Hospital Nurse Led Clinic on 020 7390 6205.The Portland Supports Cervical Cancer Prevention Week,