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Samantha Renke shares her smear test story to raise awareness and end HPV stigma

Actor, presenter and disability campaigner Samantha Renke joined the Loose Women to talk about her smear test experience and HPV diagnosis.

Samantha revealed that she'd been diagnosed with the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which eight in 10 people will get in their lifetime.

She also explained the practical difficulties she faced when attending her appointment. "We need better education, we need GPs to understand the needs of disabled people in general," she said.

Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders joined the discussion to bust the myths about HPV, and answer the Loose Women's questions about cervical cancer screening.

Watch the video above.

More information
Face Your Smear: What to expect from a smear test
Cervical cancer helplines

Face Your Smear: What to expect from a smear test

What to expect from a smear test

Tips to make cervical screening better for you. Everyone’s experience is different, but knowing these tips before you go for cervical screening may help you feel more comfortable:

Ask for a nurse or doctor of a particular gender – for example, a female nurse. If you have a nurse or doctor you trust, check with your GP surgery if they are able to do your test.

Book a longer or double appointment. If you think you may need more time during or after your test, check if your GP surgery offers it. Be prepared for your GP surgery’s receptionist to ask why you need a longer appointment and remember you do not have to disclose anything.

Cervical cancer helplines

Cervical cancer helplines

Use our helplines to find more information and advice on cervical cancer

NHS Choices
NHS cervical screening website for England
HPV vaccine
Cervical cancer

Comprehensive webpage with information on symptoms diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer.

NHS Immunisation Information
HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer immunisation page

MacMillan Cancer Care
Helpline: 0808 808 00 00
Cervical screening
Cervical cancer

Information on cervical cancer, including how it is diagnosed, treatments you might have, possible side effects and how to get further support.

Cancer Research UK
Helpline: Freephone 0808 800 4040
Cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer

This section of CancerHelp UK tells you about cervical cancer, from early symptoms, tests and treatment for abnormal cervical cells, through to treatment for cervical cancer, living with cervical cancer, and current research. Call the helpline to speak to a specialist nurse.

Alzheimer's and Dementia helplines

Alzheimer's Society


If you have concerns about Alzheimer's disease or about any other form of dementia, The Alzheimer's Society can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

Dementia UK


Email: direct@fordementia.org.uk

Dementia UK is a national charity committed to improving the life of all people affected by dementia. Their helpline is staffed by Admiral nurses - specialist mental health nurses who work within the NHS and are supported by Dementia UK. Admiral nurses only work in some parts of the country. Uniting Carers is their national network of family carers who want to share their experience of caring for someone with dementia to make a difference.