King's Lynn hospital nurse urges women to go for cervical cancer screening
A nurse at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is appealing to women in West Norfolk and the surrounding area to go for their smear tests to prevent developing cervical cancer.
Denise Lintill, a specialist nurse at the QEH, supports on average two women each year who are battling against advanced cervical cancer and is stressing the importance of attending screening appointments.
Every year more than 3,000 women in the UK are told they have cervical cancer, but a smear test can prevent 75 per cent of cervical cancers from developing.
Up to 72.3 per cent of eligible women, aged between 25 and 64, attended a cervical screening test with a West Norfolk GP in 2017/18 but it is hoped to increase this number.
Denise is supporting Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is run between January 21 and 27 by Jo’s Trust.
Denise said: “I cannot explain how tragic it is when a patient, who has just been told that she has advanced cervical cancer, asks if it could have been picked up earlier if she had attended a smear test.
“It is really heartbreaking when you see the realisation in their eyes.
“If women go for their screening tests they are unlikely to go on to develop cancer as abnormalities are picked up at an early stage but, sadly, the majority of patients we see for advanced cancer have not been for their smear.
“The screening appointments are not the most dignified but they only take 10 minutes and they are a life-saver.
“We are lucky to have this programme.
“I would really like to encourage all women to go for their smears, they are a free test and you can ask for a female nurse or doctor.
“Please don’t chance it.”