Women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 in Jersey and Guernsey are being encouraged to opt-in to free screening programmes as part of an awareness week, which runs until 26 June.
The programmes detect Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection passed between people through skin-to-skin and sexual contact which is the main cause of cervical cancer. If HPV is detected the screening sample will then be checked for any underlying abnormalities of the cervical cells. Eligible islanders are being told they should attend their screenings regularly (every three years for those aged 25-50, and every five years for those aged 50-64) as HPV can lie dormant for many years. Diane Mathews, Guernsey's Strategic Screening Lead, said: "It is extremely important that people take advantage of this free service. Cervical screening is a vital test that can detect the first signs of cervical disease which means treatment can be given early before any abnormal cells turn cancerous. The majority of people will be unaware they have HPV and, although most infections are benign, it is the leading cause of cervical cancer. If everyone attended their screenings regularly, 83% of cervical cancer deaths could be prevented. Most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented and treated if caught early. I would encourage all eligible Islanders to attend for cervical screening when they are invited it's free of charge and takes very little time."
People in Jersey who want to opt-in to the cervical screening programme can contact their GP or the Le Bas Centre.
More Information on the Cervical Screening Programme in Guernsey can be found here.