It is often said across many medical and health professions that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and that is definitely the case when it comes to cervical cancer screening.
Regular cervical screens (also called Pap tests) can reduce a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer by up to 96%. It is one of the few types of cancer which can be detected and stopped before it ever begins. Those are impressive statistics when you’re talking about prevention!
So why do women avoid the tests?
Research has shown that one of the main barriers to booking a cervical screen is embarrassment. We asked Dr Taoube of Sydney’s Inner west to share her thoughts on this and she said “Doctors do these tests all the time; it’s a normal part of the work we do to keep women healthy. We’re used to it! There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. “
It certainly seems that the statistics behind this kind of prevention are very positive. 9 out of 10 women, who are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Australia, have not had regular Pap tests.
Since the National Cervical Screening program started, the numbers of cases of cervical cancer have dramatically dropped, and so have the number of women dying from it. Basically you are very unlikely to develop cervical cancer if you have regular cervical screening tests. Women in Australia are encouraged to get screened every 2 years, so make your appointment every second birthday!
With these kinds of numbers it’s hard to see why you would choose not to take the test. “As a doctor, I see what happens when people don’t get regular Pap tests and think ‘it’ll be alright’. But sadly, quite often it isn’t.” said Dr Taoube.
That’s why Dr Taoube is getting behind this Month’s #notjustnailpolish campaign. “Awareness about Cervical Screening needs to be much higher and this campaign is addressing that.”
By painting your nails purple in March and posting your photos with the #notjustnailpolish hashtag you can help raise awareness of cervical screening and let your friends know that prevention really is better than cure!
To get your free bottle of purple nail polish and all you have to do is email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8585 1313 to request your free bottle.
For more information on cervical screening please visit www.csp.nsw.gov.au/languages/arabic