This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (23rd to 29th January), Jackie Baillie MSP is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust as they call for action to eliminate cervical cancer in the UK.

Cervical cancer currently kills two women in the UK every day and the charity is calling for action, innovation, and awareness to help end cervical cancer.

Jackie Baillie is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, by encouraging women in her Dumbarton constituency to attend their cervical screening when invited, and by supporting the efforts of the HPV immunisation programme.

In the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, which covers West Dunbartonshire, cervical screening attendance is at the lowest level in the country for 25 to 49-year-olds. Of this age group, less than two thirds (61.4 percent) attended for their smear test, as at March 31st 2021, according to the latest available figures via Public Health Scotland. The figures relate to the number of eligible people who have attended within the last five and a half years.

In the 50 – 64 age group, this increased to 73.2 percent, which still sits below the national average of 74.4 percent.

The statistics also show that in all age groups, people are less likely to attend for their cervical screening appointment if they stay in a deprived area.

Jackie Baillie said: “Women attending for their smear test, gives the opportunity to effectively consign a cancer to the history books. Cervical screening and HPV vaccines can both help detect and prevent cervical cancer, and I would encourage everyone who can to make use of these amazing cancer prevention tools.

“Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust recognises that attending a screening isn’t always easy, but they are there for you with information and support if you ever need them.”

In its latest report, the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity found that only 17 percent of health professionals working across cervical cancer prevention think enough is currently being done to eliminate cervical cancer in the UK. Only 20 percent think enough is being done to ensure high levels of HPV vaccine uptake, and just 16 percent believe that enough is being done to support cervical screening uptake.

Samantha Dixon, Chief Executive at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “A world without cervical cancer doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. The UK has the tools to make it a reality which is incredibly exciting. We need Government action to get there as soon as possible, but everyone can play their part. Going for cervical screening when invited, and making sure your child is vaccinated against HPV, will help make cervical cancer a thing of the past.

“We must also continue to invest in research, improve access to treatments, and banish the stigma and blame that too often comes with a cervical cancer diagnosis. Being forward looking should not mean those living with and beyond cancer get left behind.”

To get involved with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and the #WeCan End Cervical Cancer campaign, follow Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on social media or visit the website at jostrust.org.uk

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