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Cervical Screening Event At Deeplish Community Centre

Spreading awareness about cervical screening within the South Asian community...


Nurse Zoe attended a cervical screening event to give the women who appeared at the event a better understanding of a smear test, as a nurse it makes it better for people to be given the correct information. The event was organized by CanSurviveUK at Deeplish Community Centre. Raising awareness in the South Asian Community about the importance of cervical screenings is crucial for women's health.





What is Cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix grow and multiply uncontrollably, forming a tumour. If left untreated, these cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body.


Cervical cancer is primarily caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection. However, not all women with HPV develop cervical cancer. Other factors that can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer include smoking, a weakened immune system, long-term use of oral contraceptives, and a family history of cervical cancer.

In its early stages, cervical cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause. Other symptoms may include pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, and unusual vaginal discharge.


Regular cervical screening, also known as a Pap smear or Pap test, is crucial for detecting abnormal cells in the cervix before they develop into cancer. It involves collecting a small sample of cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope. If abnormal cells are detected, further tests, such as a colposcopy or biopsy, may be performed to determine if cancer is present.


It's important for women to prioritize regular cervical screenings and to discuss any concerns or symptoms with their healthcare provider. Cervical cancer is a preventable and treatable disease, and early detection plays a vital role in improving outcomes.




Barriers to cervical screening amongst Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women aged 25-64 in North Manchester

When it comes to cervical screening, several barriers can affect Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi women aged 25-64 in North Manchester. One barrier is the lack of awareness and knowledge about the importance of cervical screening. Many women from these communities may not fully understand the purpose and benefits of getting screened regularly.

Language and cultural barriers can also play a role. Some women may face difficulties in understanding the information provided during the screening process due to language differences. Additionally, cultural beliefs and taboos surrounding discussions about reproductive health can make it challenging for women to openly discuss and seek information about cervical screening.


Accessibility can be another barrier. Limited access to healthcare services, including convenient appointment times and locations, can make it difficult for women to attend screenings. Factors such as transportation issues, work commitments, and family responsibilities can further hinder their ability to prioritize cervical screening.


There may also be misconceptions and fears related to the screening procedure itself. Some women may have concerns about pain, discomfort, or embarrassment during the examination, which can discourage them from attending screenings.


To overcome these barriers, it is crucial to raise awareness within these communities about the importance of cervical screening and debunk any misconceptions. Providing information in multiple languages and culturally sensitive materials can help address language and cultural barriers. Improving accessibility by offering flexible appointment options and ensuring that healthcare facilities are easily accessible can also make a difference.


It's important to work collaboratively with community leaders, healthcare providers, and support organizations to develop targeted outreach programs that address the specific needs and concerns of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi women in North Manchester. By addressing these barriers, we can strive to improve cervical screening rates and promote better reproductive health outcomes for these communities.



How do I get checked?

Getting checked for cervical cancer is an essential part of maintaining your reproductive health. The main method for checking for cervical cancer is through a procedure called a smear. Here's what you can expect during the process:


1. Schedule an appointment: Reach out to your healthcare provider to schedule a smear test. They will guide you on when it's best to have the test done based on your age and medical history.


2. Preparation: Before the test, your healthcare provider may advise you to avoid using tampons, vaginal creams, medications, or douching for at least 48 hours. It's also best to schedule the test when you are not menstruating.


3. The procedure: During the smear test, you will lie on an examination table, and your healthcare provider will gently insert a speculum into your vagina to hold it open. They will then use a small brush or spatula to collect a sample of cells from your cervix. It's normal to feel some pressure or discomfort, but it should not be painful.

4. Results: The collected sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. You will typically receive the results within a few weeks. If any abnormal cells are detected, your healthcare provider will discuss the next steps with you.


Remember, regular smear tests are crucial for early detection of any abnormal changes in the cervix. It's generally recommended that women begin getting Pap smears around the age of 21 and continue every few years, as advised by their healthcare provider.


If you have any concerns or questions about the procedure, it's always best to reach out to your healthcare provider. They can provide personalised guidance and address any specific concerns you may have. Taking care of your reproductive health is important, and regular cervical screenings are a proactive step in doing so!



Remember!

Getting a smear test is a harmless procedure. It's a routine screening test that helps detect any abnormal changes in the cells of your cervix. Identifying these changes early on, can prevent the development of cervical cancer or catch it in its early stages when it's highly treatable. The procedure itself may cause some minor discomfort or pressure, but it should not be painful. Remember, it's always important to prioritize your reproductive health and stay proactive with regular screenings. If you have any specific concerns or questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. They are there to support and guide you through the process!




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