Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – Life Saving Screening And Vaccination At Your Cervix
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024 | Awareness Days
It’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and did you know more than 99% of cases are thought to be caused by a virus?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that most of us will get at some point in our lives. There are more than 200 types, 14 of which are known as high-risk and linked to some cancers.
Around 80% of us will get some form of HPV in our lives if we have not been vaccinated against it.
Most will never even know we had it and about 90% of cases are cleared by our immune system within two years.
So why do we need to vaccinate against it and what is the connection with cervical cancer?
The virus can remain in the body for a small number of women and people with a cervix, which can lead to cell changes that in some cases lead to cervical cancer. Some can also cause genital warts.
Cell changes themselves are not cervical cancer. Some will be monitored and some will be treated, depending on their ‘grade’ and your personal circumstances.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and Eradicating Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumour.
Through a combination of vaccines, screening and treatment for cell changes, cervical cancer is on course to be eradicated in some countries by the next decade.
Here in the UK, the NHS has pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.
Raising the profile of this preventable disease through a cervical cancer awareness week or campaign can only push the UK’s goal even closer.
What Is The HPV Vaccine?
Routinely offered in schools to Year 8 teenage girls and people with a cervix since 2008 and expanded to include Year 8 boys since 2019, studies have since shown an up to 87% reduction in cervical cancer for women in their 20s.
There were also more than 17,000 fewer diagnoses of high-grade cervical cell changes.
The HPV vaccine is a vital part of the fight against cervical cancer and alongside regular screening and cell change treatments, should ultimately one day make the disease a thing of the past.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a high-profile campaign from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
The charity was formed more than 20 years ago to raise awareness of cervical cancer, its causes and how to prevent it.
Raising awareness by contacting your local MPs, sharing resources in your workplace and talking about the facts with friends and family all form vital parts of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2024.
Jo’s Trust believes that with enough government pressure, support and increased awareness, the UK can eradicate cervical cancer ahead of its 2040 target.
Here at Kare Plus, we are fully behind both January’s cervical cancer awareness campaigns and ongoing work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.