Women avoiding smear tests due to body shame, charity warns

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The charity said cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, yet nearly two-thirds of those surveyed were not aware that they are most at risk.

The survey of women aged between 25 and 35 found that 35 per cent reported embarrassment was the reason they had delayed attending their screening sessions.

Yet despite these findings, almost all women (94%) said they would have a free test to prevent cancer if it was available, highlighting a lack of understanding about the role of screening.

And statistics showed that many people are unaware of the comparatively high risk of cervical cancer among younger women, as well as the overall importance of smear tests.

Nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United Kingdom every day, and two women will lose their lives to the disease.

In a new survey of 25-35 year old women, a third (31%) admitted they wouldn't go if they hadn't waxed or shaved their bikini area.

This rises to one in three among 25 to 29-year-olds.

Nearly all (99.7%) cervical cancers are caused by the persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes changes to the cervical cells.

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The report comes ahead of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, running from January 22-28, and the charity has set up a #SmearForSmear campaign to raise awareness of the importance of attending these screenings.

According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer death rates in the United States has declined by more than 50 percent in the last 30 years.

He called on local authorities to fund programs to increase the uptake of tests, after it was found one... "It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to nonattendance".

"Please don't let unhappiness or uncertainty about your body stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test".

"The screening takes just a few minutes to complete and will identify abnormal cells before they become cancerous".

Aside from the vital goal of saving lives, screening for cervical cancer helps save the NHS money.

The survey was carried out by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, the only United Kingdom charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.

"Nurses are professionals who carry out millions of tests every year, they can play a big part in ensuring women are comfortable".