Women must take the steps to prevent cervical cancer before it starts

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Wednesday) called on women to take responsibility for their own health by ensuring that they get regular smear tests to prevent the spread of cervical cancer.

Deputy Mitchell O’Connor made this call during ‘European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week’ which runs from January 20th to January 26th

“European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week represents a golden opportunity to highlight the pressing need for women to take control of their own physical health in attempting to eradicate the spread of cervical cancer. The importance of getting regular smear tests cannot be overstated as one of the biggest risk factors for developing this cancer is not having regular checks.

“Women need to be educated about the symptoms and causes of the disease and of the best way to prevent it. Regular checks can help detect the early onset of cell changes, which could lead to cancer formation down the line, putting the power in women’s hands to stop this disease before it starts. Awareness-raising events are being held right across Europe in a bid to inform women about how best to maintain their health.

“This week in Ireland, the Irish Family Planning Association will partner with CervicalCheck to encourage women aged between 25 and 60 to avail of a free smear from a GP practice or family planning clinic of their choice. It simply couldn’t be easier. A test every couple of years, quite simply, could save your sister, your mother, your daughter or your partner’s life. Yet despite this, some women, especially older women, continue to ignore the issue and do not avail of free checks.

“Early detection is key to increasing survival rates and well organised programmes such as CervialCheck have been proven to reduce the mortality rate of cervical cancer. Each year in Ireland approximately 300 women are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 90 women lose their lives. I would urge every woman, this week, to take the time to book an appointment if they are not already in the system, and every man to urge the women in their lives to take control of their physical health.”

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