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Why smear tests are so vital for women
A STUDENT midwife from York is reminding women of the vital importance of smear tests after she was recently given the all-clear following a health scare.
Victoria Hutchinson, 31, from Woodthorpe, is backing a national campaign to highlight the potentially lifesaving benefits of regular screening.
With the campaign ending tomorrow, Victoria is issuing a final call to women, particularly those in the 25 to 34 age group, to make an appointment.
Victoria has been attending regular screenings since her results showed cell changes resulting in the need for further biopsies. She has since been given the all-clear.
She said: “I think it’s incredibly important to attend regular tests. When I went for my first test 11 years ago I was slightly worried as I didn’t know what to expect, but the nurse was very nice and put me at ease straight away.
“The test is slightly uncomfortable but not in the least bit painful. The procedure is very quick and takes less than a couple of minutes.
“Women have smear tests every day and I think it’s just fear of the unknown and feelings of embarrassment that perhaps prevent people from going.
“Now I’ve been for lots of tests I don’t worry at all. It’s just another in frequent check-up that helps keep me fit and well.
“My most recent smear test was all clear following my biopsies. I do now have to be screened more often than usual but if my test results remain clear I will only be required to return for cervical screening every three to five years, which is recommended.”
Jill Wass, public health nurse for NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “The test can detect any abnormalities or changes in the cervix which, if left untreated, could lead to cervical cancer.
“Women have the choice of a female doctor or nurse, and they can also bring a friend for support if they wish.
“If you are worried about a specific problem, about how reliable the results are, or worried about the risks of cancer, then you should talk to your GP. Book your test by making an appointment with your GP or nurse today.”
For details, visit mysmeartest.co.uk