Over 3000 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.
More than half of those women are under the age of 45.
It is a preventable disease. According to Cancer Research UK, 99.8% of all cases can be prevented.
But each year around 850 women sadly die.
That’s more than two women each day.
We can save many more lives.
And that is why using January to mark Cervical Cancer Screening Month is so important.
It is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screenings – which only have to take place every three to five years.
89 per cent of women who do develop cervical cancer will survive for five years or more after diagnosis, if it is detected early enough.
But less than three quarters of women invited for cervical screening take it up.
The impact of the pandemic, redirecting much of our health service capacity to deal with COVID-19 – and making access to GPs more difficult – has created further hurdles.
And there is inequality baked in too.
On average women from deprived areas are more likely to suffer from cervical cancer, but are 8 per cent less likely to attended their cervical screening, compared to the wealthiest parts of the country.
But our local NHS have been doing some incredible work, not only to keep us safe from Covid-19, but to deliver vital cervical cancer screening as well.
Over the last 6 months, Barnsley has been one of the top performing areas in the country for delivering cervical screenings.
It is estimated that cervical screening already saves around 5,000 lives each year.
Many of those will be in Barnsley – and we can save many more.
So I want to encourage everyone who has not yet been for a screening, who may benefit from one, to make an appointment and get their screening.
Let’s make this January the month we fightback against cervical cancer – and save lives here in Barnsley.