Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2024

22nd – 28th January 2024

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Health Assured team

11 January 2024

22nd – 28th January 2024


At Health Assured, we’re proud to be supporting Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. The campaign aims to bring attention to those whose lives have been impacted by cervical cancer, to find solutions, and to remember those we have lost.

In the UK, around 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with over 800 losing their lives.

For some of us, cancer is personal. Whether you have been diagnosed before or know someone who has, it can be comforting to remember that people do care, and campaigns like this one exist to work towards a day when cervical cancer becomes a thing of the past.

The UK has the tools to get there. We have a wide-reaching HPV vaccination programme, and highly effective cervical screening and colposcopy services. Innovations in these programmes mean we are preventing more cases than ever before, and we have the mental health support to match the treatment with charities like Macmillan and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust leading the way.

However, we also face inequity in access, falling uptake, and other barriers preventing progress. The potential to eliminate cancer is something that should be celebrated and embraced. To get there, we must tackle the issues of today, as well as look to the programmes of the future.

6 facts about cervical cancer

  • 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK alone every year
  • Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally
  • Incidence is highest amongst women aged 30-35
  • Untreated HPV infection causes around 95% of cervical cancer cases
  • Cervical cancer can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly. The earlier the cancer is found, the easier it is to treat
  • In the UK, 1 in 4 people don’t attend their cervical screening test

 

Cervical cancer and mental health

Being diagnosed with cervical cancer can have significant physical, emotional, and financial impacts which can last far beyond diagnosis and treatment. It is normal to experience a range of difficult thoughts and feelings that may change, go away, and come back over time.

Some people have lots of emotions while others may feel numb or as if this were happening to someone else. There is no right or wrong way to think and feel, but it is important to recognise what you are going through to seek help if you feel you need it.

A cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment can trigger many different feelings, including:

  • Fear and anxiety
  • Worry
  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Sadness or depression
  • Anger or irritability
  • Guilt
  • Embarrassment or self-consciousness
  • Grief or loss

 

What you can do if you are worried about cervical cancer?

  1. Share your feelings

It can be helpful to share any worries you have with people you know. You could talk to a friend or family member you trust. Chances are, they have experienced similar feelings.

Ask your GP or practice nurse any questions you have and let them know if you have any concerns about the appointment. They will be able to reassure you and sometimes, it can help to talk to someone you don’t know.

  1. Get support

If you recognise some of the above feelings and experiences, seek support. Support is available, but we know that it is not easy for everyone with a mental health problem to get the treatment and help they need.

If you have been struggling with your mental health, let your cancer team know if your cancer treatment is affecting your mental health. You may be able to get mental health support through cancer services.

Some cancer hospitals are linked with Macmillan Information Services or Maggie’s Centres. They are available throughout the UK. These services can be a place to start when seeking mental health support when you have cancer. You can contact them by phone or email or visit in person.

You can also speak to others in the cancer community by using Cancer Chat, Cancer Research UK's online forum for people affected by cancer. You can learn from them how they managed to find support.

  1. Counselling and therapy

Counselling offers a safe space to explore how you feel with a non-judgemental professional. What you’re going through is very difficult, and many people find that this brings up emotions and life changes.

Bottling these feelings up inside can become overwhelming. Over time these feelings build up and make things extremely difficult. A counsellor can help you find ways to cope and manage the emotions you're facing.

 

Supporting your organisation with physical, emotional, and mental health challenges

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical advice and support when it comes to your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Our EAP provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employee's mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.

 

Find out more about EAPs

 

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