County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Talking About
Cancer (TAC) Service, is working in the local community to promote
cervical screening and encourage women to recognise the signs and
symptoms of cervical cancer.
Members of the Talking About Cancer Service are working in
partnership with Consett Medical Practice and Willington Medical
Group, giving local women in Consett and Willington the opportunity
to find out more about cervical screening and ask any
There are around 2,800 new cases of cervical cancer in the UK
every year. It is the most common cancer in women under the age of
35, but cervical cancer can affect women of any age.
Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are linked to a common
sexually transmitted infection called the Human Papillomavirus or
HPV. Using condoms protects against the infection and can reduce
the risk of getting or spreading the HPV infection.
If you smoke this doubles your risk of developing cervical
Research shows that long-term use of the contraceptive pill
slightly increases the risk of cervical cancer, however it is
important to know that the pill can help protect against womb and
Cervical screening saves around 5000 lives every year in the UK.
It is important to go for your cervical screening test whenever you
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It tests for
changes in the cervix before they develop into cancer.
Women who are registered with a doctor are invited for free
cervical screening tests every three to five years from the age of
25 to 64.
Most women have normal results. Sometimes a sample is not clear
enough, so you may have to have another test. If you have an
abnormal result this does not mean you have cancer, it means that
some of the cells in your test may have changed and you may need to
be treated - your doctor will talk to you about having further
If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms make sure
you see your doctor
Bleeding between periods
Bleeding during or after sex
Bleeding after you have been through the menopause
Any unpleasant vaginal discharge
Discomfort or pain during sex
These may be signs of other common conditions. They do not
necessarily mean you have cancer, but it's best to get the checked
out by your doctor.
For further information, please contact Vicki Moffat on 01207
523 425 or Sharon Smith on 01388 742 562.
Published: 6 January 2012
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community