Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (The Eve Appeal)

Introduction

The Eve Appeal is the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. This January, they are raising awareness of cervical cancer and how to prevent it. The Eve Appeal are passionate about raising awareness of this point by encouraging women to understand signs and symptoms, while also encouraging women to have the HPV vaccine and regular cervical screenings.

 Background

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week happens every year at the end of January, primarily spearheaded by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, a cervical cancer specific charity who run a campaign called #smearforsmear.

During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, The Eve Appeal all want as many people as possible to know how they can reduce their risk of the disease and to educate others while directing them to sources of expert information including our own confidential, nurse-led information service called Ask Eve. The Eve Appeal know from recent reports that screening rates are at their lowest for two decades and approximately three million women across England have not had a smear test for at least three-and-a-half years.

We are campaigning for women of all ages to know how cervical cancer can be prevented by:

  • Taking up the HPV vaccination if aged 11 to 18
  • Attending cervical screenings when invited
  • Knowing the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if experiencing any of them
  • Knowing where to find support and further information

This year, the #smearforsmear campaign will be again, asking supporters to post a selfie with a tip or word of support. The post might be the reminder or encouragement someone needs to book their test but mostly, to raise awareness of cervical screenings.

 

About the Eve campaign

This year, The Eve Appeal is discussing the myths and truths around cervical cancer prevention with a series of short films featuring Adeola Olaitan, leading Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Karen Hobbs, The Eve Appeal’s Cancer Information Officer who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 24.

The Eve Appeal  hope that their content will be shared across all online media to raise awareness for this important issue.

 What they are going to do

The Eve Appeal asked the general public for their questions about cervical cancer ahead of the filming. An example of the questions that they asked and put to the experts were:

  • I’ve heard that smear tests are really painful, is that true?
  • I’m 20 years old so what age should I start having cervical screenings?
  • I’ve never had sex, so do I still need to go for my smear test?
  • I’ve heard that it’s an STI that only people who’ve been promiscuous and had very unsafe sex get? Is that true?
  • I’ve been told that you can’t have the HPV vaccine if you’re sexually active and that instead of the vaccine, we should just use condoms?
  • Why are only girls currently offered the HPV vaccine?
  • What actually happens during a smear test/cervical screening appointment?
  • Does smoking cause cervical cancer?

The Eve Appeal (21st January 2019)