More coming forward for smear tests since controversial campaign

Katya Fowler went to see what getting a smear test is like...

A Jersey GP is reporting a rise in islanders coming forward to get their smear test since a controversial government campaign.

Dr Jessica Langtree-Marsh says there has been an increase in women and people with uteruses visiting her surgery to get their cervical screening, or to ask questions about the procedure, in the past few weeks.

Two weeks ago (24 January), the Government of Jersey posted a series of tweets, as part of their campaign to encourage more islanders to get tested for early signs of cancer.

The campaign faced a backlash as hundreds of people criticised the absence of the word 'woman' in one of the tweets.

Despite the negative feedback, Dr Langtree-Marsh says the wide-reaching campaign has had a positive impact on the future health of people in Jersey:

"I've had women that haven't had smears in 15 years coming in to get their smears, so it's been a great campaign."

She wants more islanders aged 25 and above to understand the importance of smear tests:

"It's essential. A lot of people will think that because they've had the HPV vaccine that they're either immune to HPV or can't get cervical cancer in the future.

"We know it doesn't cover all strains of HPV and cervical cancer is still around. And there are lots of women who haven't had the HPV vaccine, so it's really important that we all continue our cervical screening."