Despite high-profile cases and celebrity deaths, not enough women are taking steps to protect their health by undergoing regular cervical screenings. A poll by Bupa found that almost a third (29%) said that they have never had any screening.
Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is vital in detecting abnormal, pre-cancerous cells which may lead to cervical cancer.
Around 2,900 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. The death of Big Brother contestant Jade Goody in 2009 raised awareness of the disease, which is one of the most preventable cancers.
Bupa believe that many women are put off going for a screening owing to a lack of information on what it involves and anxiety about dealing with abnormal results. To help, Bupa is offering advice on the subject.
Dr Katrina Herren, Medical Director, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, said: "Cervical screening detects pre-cancerous cells which can develop into cervical cancer. Early detection of pre-cancerous cells is vitally important in preventing cervical cancer so if your test does detect these abnormal cells, don't panic. It means that the cells which could develop into the cancer have been detected and can be monitored closely or treated to prevent them developing into cancer."
A cervical smear test is included in Bupa's female health assessment. For women who are primarily concerned with their breast and gynaecological health, Bupa Female Health offers a thorough check and the opportunity to discuss any health concerns you have. This 60 minute assessment focuses on the early detection of breast and gynaecological conditions as well as other health risks such as diabetes.