Teresa has called for greater measures to be taken to help prevent cervical cancer, including strategies to combat declining rates of uptake for cervical screening, and to promote the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination amongst teenage girls.
Ahead of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which runs from the 25th to 31st January 2015, Teresa recently attended a Parliamentary event hosted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, where declining year on year rates of cervical screening were discussed.
In Bexley, 68% of 25-29 year olds attended cervical screening within the last 3 years (compared to a national average of 63.25%), and in Greenwich, 60.8% of 25-29 attended cervical screening with the last 3 years.
For HPV vaccination uptake in Bexley, 90.2% of 12-13 year olds had at least one dose, with 88.1% receiving two doses and 76.6% receiving all three. These figures are below the national average (91.11%, 89.77% and 86.70% respectively). In Greenwich, 85% of 12-13 year olds had at least one dose, with 82.5% receiving two doses and 77.6% receiving all three. These figures are also below the national average.
Eight women each day in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer, with three women losing their lives to the disease.
“Cervical cancer and its prevention is an important issue which directly impacts the lives of many women and their families across Erith and Thamesmead. Whilst the number of young women attending cervical screening in Bexley is good, there is still great room for improvement across my constituency. We also need to encourage more girls to have the full three doses of vaccine to maximum their protection against cervical cancer.
I have challenged NHS England, and the London NHS Area Team in particular, which is responsible for screening and immunisation across Erith and Thamesmead, to develop an action plan to ensure that women and girls are aware of the symptoms and impact of cervical cancer, and to increase uptake of cervical screening and HPV vaccination. I fully welcome the actions of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in their work to help prevent cervical cancer, and I am asking everyone to join them in the fight to eradicate this disease.”