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Sugababe Amelle on cervical cancer

Published: 23/03/11

Amelle Berrabah joins us to talk about the Fight Cervical Cancer in Style campaign
Following Jade Goody's death to cervical cancer, the number of women having smear tests dramatically rose, but now two years on it's feared the 'Jade effect' has faded.

Sugababe Amelle, is proud to support the 1st year anniversary of the Fight Cervical Cancer in Style campaign.  A national campaign to educate and raise awareness about cervical cancer.
The facts on cervical cancer

Eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day, almost three a day die, yet a third of us don't turn up for smear tests.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 20-29 and the second most common cancer in women under 35 years old.

The virus can be passed on through sexual contact, therefore girls and women are at risk as soon as they start having intimate relationships. The virus is usually cleared naturally but sometimes it persists and could lead to cervical cancer.

75% of  women who are, or have been, sexually active are likely to be infected with the virus at some point in their lives.

Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a common virus called HPV (human papillomavirus).  Cervical cancer is not hereditary.

The cervical smear test is estimated to save up to 4,500 lives every year - as a result of the test, around 250,000 women a year have abnormal cells detected and treated.

If abnormal cells are not treated, they can develop into cancer.

36% of women admit to not turning up for their smear test.  Attendance figures for women aged 25-29 is the lowest its's ever been, just 62.8% compared to 82.6% of 50-to-54 year olds.

Cervical screening can prevent around 75% of cancer cases in women who attend regularly.

HPV vaccination in schools was introduced into the national immunisation programme in 2008, for girls aged 12-13.  HPV vaccination can help prevent 70% of cervical cancers.
What steps can be taken to reduce risk?

A healthy lifestyle, cervical screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways to reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

Dont take up smoking (or if you already smoke, give it up) and dont drink too much alcohol (for women, up to 2-3 units per day) to help keep your immune system healthy.

If you have sex, make sure that you use protection.

Attend screening. Screening is from age 25 in England and Northern Ireland and 20 in Wales and Scotland.

Vaccination is available to protect against two types of the HPV virus that cause 70% of cervical cancers.

Vaccination is now routinely offered to girls aged 12-13 through the NHS. If you are over 13 speak to your GP, nurse or high street pharmacist about local availability of vaccination