Wishart highlights Cervical Screening Awareness Week

Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart has highlighted Cervical Screening Awareness Week, 20th - 26th June. An online toolkit by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has been made available to help raise awareness.

Cervical screening saves lives, preventing up to 7 in 10 incidences of cervical cancer. Despite this, almost 1 in 3 do not attend their cervical screening when invited. 220,000 women and people with a cervix are told they have cervical cell changes every year. Many more receive a diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV), but those receiving the news are often confused, ashamed, and scared.

Last week Wishart questioned the Minister for Women’s Health about plans to ensure high uptake for future screenings alongside the successful human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Wishart raised the prospect that with the success of the HPV vaccine the screening strategy could be adapted.

In November 2021 Ms Wishart highlighted Shetland’s screening stats falling to 79.2% from 80.1% in annual data provided by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. These statistics came at the same time as a study showed that the HPV vaccine cuts cervical cancer by nearly 90%.

Ms Wishart said:

“Cervical screening saves lives and I would urge anyone invited for a screening to attend.

“We also have, in the HPV vaccine, an extremely effective tool in reducing incidence of cancer.

“Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have been sharing tips and experiences across the week through social media.

“Screenings are highly personal experiences, but it only takes five minutes and could be a life-saver.”




Notes to Editors

You can see Ms Wishart’s question to the Minister here.

UK Vaccination programme results: The vaccine reduced cervical cancer incidence by 34% in those who received it aged 16 to 18, by 62% if aged 14 to 16 and by 90% in those who were vaccinated aged 12 to 13 - link here.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website.

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