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Cervical cancer: do you know how to spot the signs?

With Cervical Cancer Prevention Week taking place from the 25th to the 30th of January, we asked a leading gynaecologist to shed light on the facts that every woman of every age needs to know.

With cervical cancer being the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, it’s understandable that many people would assume that it’s a disease that only affects the young. However, this is sadly no longer the case, with new research revealing a noticeable increase in those diagnosed with the disease in the over 40 age bracket. Due to this common misconception, it means that early detection of one of the only preventable cancers is being unnecessarily delayed.

HPV is very common, with most sexually active people contracting the virus at some point in their lives. The vast majority of the time, the virus infection is cleared by the body with no effects. However, it has little or no symptoms at all. The only way to pick up the presence of the virus is to specifically test for it using an at-home test such as GynaeCheck, which has been developed by expert gynaecologists. In certain circumstances, a HPV test is performed on NHS cervical smear tests, but not always. It is at present only used in low grade smear abnormalities, or in those women who have had previous treatment for abnormal cells.

Read more: Cervical cancer: do you know how to spot the signs?

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