Roadshow to address Brighton's low cervical screening rates

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A cervical cancer roadshow is heading to Brighton o raise awareness this week, as the city has one of the worst rates for screening.

National charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust will roll up in Jubilee Square on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 30 and 31) and Brighton Pier on Thursday and Friday (June 1 and 2).

The charity said attendance of potentially life-saving cervical screening in Brighton is one of the lowest in the South East, with almost one in three women not taking up their screening invitation.

Last year, only 69.5 per cent of women in Brighton and Hove attended cervical screening when invited which is significantly lower than the South East’s average of 74.3 per cent, the charity explained.

Among women aged 25-29 uptake drops even lower with just over half of women (56.3 per cent) in the age group attending their screening.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said it hopes its roadshow will help to reverse these 'worrying statics' through raising awareness of the role of the test in preventing cervical cancer and ensuring more women in the city understand the steps they can take to reduce their risk of the disease.

Maria Sardina, 44, from Brighton, was diagnosed with cervical cancer seven years ago.

She said: "In March 2010 I went for my first smear test in eight years. The results came back with severe dyskariosis and after a colposcopy appointment I was told they had found stage 1 cervical cancer – I was devastated.

"I underwent several cone biopsies to remove the affected area and decided to change my lifestyle.

"I stopped smoking, started to eat healthier and increased my exercise routine, all of that helped me in my recovery.

"I’m now seven year cancer free and feel stronger physically and mentally.

"I think the Jo’s roadshow will provide a fantastic opportunity for women in Brighton to find out how they can protect their health, reduce their risk of the disease and become cervix savvy.”

Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We are looking forward to visiting Brighton and talking to women about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of cervical cancer and protect their health.

"Uptake of cervical screening in the city is lower than the average for the South East of England and if this does not change, we are potentially going to see more women being given a life changing cervical cancer diagnosis.

"Our roadshow offers free, confidential support and information about cervical cancer, cervical screening and the HPV vaccination and I want to encourage anyone with worries or questions to come and have a chat with our trained team.”

To find out more about the Be Cervix Savvy Roadshow, visit: jostrust.org.uk/BeCervixSavvy