Every day in the UK nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three will lose their lives to the disease.
However, with the approach of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (19th-25th January), local campaigner Suzanne Fernando wants to get the message across that the disease is preventable, and support is available for those affected.
Suzanne, leader of the Ayrshire Cervical Cancer Support Group, is herself a survivor of the illness, having been diagnosed 13 years ago. Since then she has helped raise awareness and funding for initiatives to help prevent the disease. “I've always been happy to share my experiences and offer support to other women going through cervical cancer, as I know how much it would have helped me, but back then no support groups were available locally. Now, thanks to Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, I and others are able to offer that support here in Ayrshire.”
As part of her work to raise awareness of cervical cancer, Suzanne travelled to Downing Street for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, an event arranged by local MP Katy Clark as part of initiatives surrounding International Women's Day. The local campaigner took the opportunity to discuss new policies on Cervical Screening and raising cervical awareness.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a European-wide initiative, which focuses on all things to do with the illness, including information about symptoms and causes of the disease, and ways to prevent it.
Just under 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer, yet there are steps women can take to prevent it from affecting them. Despite this, in the UK, 20% of women do not take up their invitation for cervical screening.
This year Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is launching a new campaign called Put Yourself in the Picture and is asking everyone to get involved by logging onto www.jostrust.org.uk/selfie to help raise awareness of the disease.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust can be contacted at email@example.com or by calling 020 7250 8311.