January 24th-30th 2016 is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (CCPW). The charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have initiated CCPW with the aim of raising awareness UK-wide of cervical cancer and ways to reduce the risk of developing it. The Trust are encouraging awareness-raising events such as sponsored walks and afternoon teas as well as their growing social media campaign #SmearforSmear to encourage others to find out about preventing cervical cancer and HPV.

Better2Know are making a donation to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust for every Smear Test and HPV Test we provide during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Photo of Better2Know staff supporting CCPW and the #SmearForSmear campaign

In almost 100% of cases cervical cancer has been caused by cell changes through infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV affects both men and women and is spread through sexual intercourse and intimate contact. Using condoms can help to reduce the risk of HPV infection but as HPV also lives in the skin around the genital area safe sex alone cannot guarantee avoidance of the infection. Regular smear tests and a HPV vaccine are helping to prevent cervical cancer for many women but Cervical Cancer Prevention Week will hopefully encourage more to take up regular screening and arrange for HPV vaccinations.

Sometimes there are no symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer which is why regular screening is so important for women. It is in these early stages that cervical cancer can often be successfully treated. If left undetected it can become advanced and less treatable, possibly spreading to other parts of the body. Men cannot develop cervical cancer but can spread HPV to sexual partners and HPV infection may also increase their risk of certain other cancers.

Although the HPV vaccine is available freely for many school age girls in England as part of a national vaccination programme, women need to book a vaccine privately. A swab test is available for men but a male HPV vaccination is not yet available.  Better2Know provides confidential smear tests and HPV tests to women to help prevent certain types of cervical cancer and swab tests for men.

Better2Know offers Smear Tests, HPV tests and the gardasil vaccine.  To get a full picture of your cervical health, Better2Know suggests you choose the combined PAP Smear and HPV Test as this will tell you whether there are any abnormal cells as well as whether you have an HPV infection which may mean you are at higher risk of developing cervical cancer.  To book your appointment please call us on the number above.  For more information about the Better2Know smear test (PAP Smear) and HPV tests and to book your test click here.


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