Prime Minister Theresa May has joined Rachel in calling on more women to undergo life-saving cervical smear tests.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 23rd), Rachel discussed her own experience and how, if she hadn’t attended her cervical screening test 10 years ago, it could have developed into something much worse.
Rachel has been working with Jo’s Trust, the only UK charity dedicated to supporting women affected by cervical cancer & abnormalities, as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
During her question to the Prime Minister, Rachel highlighted the fact that cervical screening rates are at a 21-year low and over a quarter of women don’t take up this life-saving test.
In response to Rachel’s question, the Prime Minister said: “We need to do more to encourage women to take up their cervical screening tests, and Public Health England will shortly launch a national campaign to highlight the risks of cervical cancer and encourage women to attend the screening appointments.
“I can stand here as the Prime Minister and say that I know what it is like to go through a cervical smear test, and it is not comfortable. For some it will be embarrassing, and it is sometimes painful, but those few minutes can save lives, so I would encourage all women to take up their smear tests.”
Rachel said: “10 years ago, I had a cervical screening test which picked up some abnormalities. If they’d been left untreated, it could have developed into something much more serious.“This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, we need to raise awareness of the fact that women just aren’t attending their cervical smear tests. We must change this.
“Yes, the smear tests are uncomfortable, can sometimes hurt and are embarrassing, but these few minutes can save lives.
“Please attend your smear test appointments and encourage your loved ones and friends too as well. This test could save your life.”
To watch Rachel asking the Prime Minister about cervical screening tests click here.