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Cervical Screening Awareness Month - prompt for women

Cervical Screening Awareness Month - prompt for women

As part of Cervical Screening Awareness Month during September, Bay of Plenty and Lakes women are being encouraged to check that they are up to date with their regular smears.

“A cervical smear test usually takes less than 15 minutes and should usually be done every three years. It’s a simple procedure that has the proven ability to save lives,” says Anneliese Luthard, Bay of Plenty and Lakes Regional Coordinator for the Cervical Screening Programme.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancers and results show that screening every three years can reduce the risk of developing it by up to 90 per cent.

The cervical smear test is a screening test to find abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. These cell changes are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV infection is very common, and most people come into contact with it at some stage of their life.

Changes in the cervix from HPV infection happen slowly. By having regular smears there is an excellent chance that the abnormal cells will be found and treated before they ever become cancer. To find out when your next smear is due contact your medical centre.

For more information visit www.cervicalscreening.govt.nz or phone free on 0800 729 729.

ENDS

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