A new campaign in Leeds is urging women not to delay attending for cervical screening during the coronavirus pandemic through the launch of a new safety video.
Cancer Wise Leeds, which is funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research and delivered in partnership with Leeds Cancer Programme (led by Leeds City Council), has produced the Safe Screening for Cervical Cancer video.
It advises that although screening was paused during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, services are back up and running across Leeds with Covid-secure measures in place, such as social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser.
The aim is to help address worries about attending screening appointments and raise awareness of the safety measures that GP practices have introduced.
This comes as health and care organisations across the city get behind the annual Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (18-24 January 2021).
Cervical screening saves lives by detecting abnormal cells on the cervix, allowing them to be treated before they become cancer. It is available for women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64.
However, recent data shows that participation in screening across Leeds has dropped to 70.6%. This is a 3.7% drop from October 2019.
We are asking women in Leeds to:
- Watch the Safe Screening for Cervical Cancer video so they know what to expect and can be reassured about their safety.
- Ring their GP surgery when they receive their cervical screening letter to make an appointment.
Women should take part in cervical screening even if they are not sexually active at the moment or have had the HPV vaccine. This also applies to trans men and non-binary people with a cervix.
Women in Leeds experiencing discomfort or symptoms of cervical cancer should seek urgent advice from their doctor’s surgery or call 111. Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal bleeding during sex, between periods or after the menopause, as well as discomfort during sex, back pain and unusual cervical discharge.
To find out more about the measures in place for safe screening, please watch the video on the Cancer Wise Leeds YouTube channel. If you are worried about screening, please talk to your doctor or practice nurse.