Scarlett Moffatt and Linda Robson just some of celebs in new national cervical screening campaign

County Durham TV personality Scarlett Moffatt is backing the campaign to encourage women to get tested. Credit: PA

A new national cervical screening campaign has been released today in the hopes of tackling the low number of women who get screened

According to figures, nearly 1 in 3 women take up their cervical screening offer and surveys show that the most common (42%) reason is embarrassment.

Celebrities including Linda Robson, Scarlett Moffatt, Louise Minchin, Victoria Scone and Sharon Gaffka are starring in a new campaign film which addresses concerns around screening and encourages those eligible to attend.

The new “Help Us Help You” – Cervical Screening Saves Lives campaign urges women and those who may be eligible not to ignore their cervical screening invite and book appointment with their GP practice or sexual health clinic.

Latest figures from March 2021 show that nearly a third of eligible individuals – women and people with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 - were not screened.

In the UK around 2 people die every day from the disease and it is estimated that 70% cervical cancer deaths could be prevented.

Scarlett Moffatt said: “A few years ago, my cervical screening may have saved my life.

"The screening detected HPV and abnormal cells linked to the development of cervical cancer, and I underwent treatment to have the cells removed.

"If I hadn't been to that appointment, I don't know what situation I would have been in now."

Victoria Scone, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK contestant and TV Personality, said: “Initially I was uncertain as to whether a cervical screening was imperative for me as a queer woman.

"However, this new campaign has clarified that all women and people with a cervix, including those in the LGBTQ+ community like myself are eligible for a screening.”

Maria Caulfield, Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care, said: “We’re calling on all women and people with a cervix to get screened to help save hundreds of lives. Even if you’re feeling embarrassed or nervous, please don’t ignore your invitation.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Medical Director for Primary Care at NHS England, said: “There is no doubt about it - cervical screening saves lives.

"By screening for risk signs at an early stage, it means that any abnormal cells can be treated quickly before they potentially develop into cancer.“We know that it can feel embarrassing or feel like something that you can easily put off, but accepting your invite and getting checked could save your life. And please do speak to your GP practice about any concerns you might have – we are here to help you.”

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