Across the United Kingdom, one in four eligible women (aged 25-64) do not take up their smear test invitation.
The problem was particularly prevalent in women aged between 25 and 29, who were found to have concerns about their body shape, the appearance of their pubic area and concerns about smell, which stopped them from getting a test. A pap smear, recommended for women between 21 and 29 years once every three years, can prevent 75% of cervical cancers.
A third of the 2,017 women surveyed, all between 25-35 years old, also said they would skip their appointment if they hadn't shaved or waved their bikini area. It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to non attendance.
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According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer death rates in the United States has declined by more than 50 percent in the last 30 years.
Women are sharing selfies with smeared lipstick on social media to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for cervical cancer.
"Lives can be saved if women book an appointment for cervical screening when invited".
Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives in the United Kingdom every year and prevents eight out of 10 cervical cancers from developing.
The #SmearForSmear 2018 campaign is run by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, a United Kingdom charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.
Across the United Kingdom, one in four eligible women (aged 25-64) do not take up their smear test invitation, this rises to one in three among 25-29 year olds and is even as high as one in two in some areas of the UK.
Aside from the vital goal of saving lives, screening for cervical cancer helps save the NHS money. Pap smears can detect precancerous and cancerous cells.
If you find the thought of attending a cervical screening distressing, you do have the option of asking in advance for a female doctor or nurse to carry out the 5-minute test.
"The nurse's focus is to make women feel welcome, comfortable and ensure their dignity is maintained, while obtaining a good sample".
His words were echoed by cancer minister Steve Brine, who has lent his support to the charity's #SmearForSmear campaign, which was launched on January 22 for cervical cancer prevention week.