I overslept yesterday morning, picked up one of Boo’s friends on the way into school and made it before the bell, had a quick meeting with our headteacher, ran for a bus, caught up with e-mails on the run, stopped for a very late breakfast aka lunch battled a migraine most of the day, picked Boo up from school, cooked dinner – just the usual… oh and I had a smear test.
For me having a smear is something to be added to a to do list just like a dental appointment or exercise class yet I was astounded to learn that over one million women failed to book in for their smear test when invited last year. Yes you read right, one million women – that equates to 1 in 5 who receive the letter through the post asking them to make an appointment. Any embarrassment should be cast aside – chances are that the majority of women by the age of 25 when called for their first smear test have more than likely gotten naked in front of someone (come on we’re all adults here) yet don’t fancy spreading their legs for a matter of minutes for a nurse to potentially save your life?
Ok so me whipping off my knickers on a cloudy Thursday morning isn’t up there on my wishlist but neither is dying from cervical cancer so you know… choices! Yes the cervical screening programme has its fault (I for one would like the initial screening age to be lowered to 21) however to be offered an early detection tool like this is key if women are to stand a chance of beating this all consuming female cancer.
The actual test in tself takes less than five minutes and I barely felt a thing, someone women describe a slight discomfort but that’s it. As I hotfooted it out of the room (I was late for another meeting!) the nurse said I should receive the results within three weeks though the post, and fingers crossed it’ll show no signs of abnormal cells; but if it does the smear test will have given me time and options.
Smear tests are like voting to me, I don’t care how you do it, just get it done. You owe it to yourself. So raise a glass and say cheers to all the ladies who dropped their knickers this week for a smear test…