Every year in Ireland, about 300 women and trans men are diagnosed with cervical cancer and over 90 lives are lost. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had several people in my life who have been given this diagnosis, all of which were young women under 35. Fortunately though, thanks to early detection and immediate treatment, all of them have made a full recovery.
January 24th-30th is the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and to mark it, the Irish Family Planning Association have partnered with CervicalCheck to launch their Pearl of Wisdom campaign. This week I'll be wearing my Pearl of Wisdom pin and talking to every cervix owner I meet about the importance of getting a cervical screening every 3 years.
Friends of mine beware: If you're in line for a mocha and I spot you, I will not hesitate to come over and have a chat about your cervix in front of the barista... and then I'll probably ask the barista when her last screening was as well. It's that important! Smear tests are free for all women aged 25-60 from a registered practitioner of your choice, and they only take 5 minutes, so you've no excuse. And just to be super handy, you can check when you're next due for a screening at CervicalCheck.ie.
If you'd like to do your bit for the Pearl of Wisdom campaign, I'd invite you to share this blog post wherever you can and/or use the hashtag #ShareTheWisdom on your favourite social media sites to highlight the issue and remind your mates to go get their smears done!
Here are some helpful resources both local and international about cervical cancer and cervical screenings. Please note that in Europe, doctors recommend to start coming in for regular cervical checks when you turn 25, and in the States, it's 21: