As a charity we are focused on the day that no woman dies from cervical cancer. We know that day can come and we want to get there as soon as we can, so that no woman has to face a life threatening cervical diagnosis, no woman has to endure invasive treatment, no woman has to suffer from the long term physical and psychological effects of treatment.
While we work towards this day, we know that many woman are not receiving the support, information and care that they need. This is not acceptable.
In our Manifesto for the 2017 General Election we are calling on politicians from all parties to support us in our vision and to make cervical cancer a priority. It is only through working together with the health service, with decision makers and with government that we can reduce the impact of cervical cancer for women across the UK. We know that through prioritising and investing in prevention, we could see a 10% reduction in incidence by the end of the next parliament in 2022.
So what do we want to see?
Increased awareness about cervical cancer and how it can be prevented
1. The government should commit to eradicating cervical cancer by 2050 and develop an action plan to achieve this goal
2. Cervical screening must be made more accessible:
- Women should be able to access screening at GP surgeries other than the one they are registered with e.g. a surgery close to their work
- Screening should be available at all sexual health clinics
- Self-sampling should be available as part of the screening programme
3. Cervical screening uptake must be increased:
- The government, NHS England, Public Health England and local authorities need to work together to ensure this becomes a priority
- Stronger local and national GP incentives should be set to encourage investment and activity
- Investment is needed in targeted awareness campaigns and outreach to groups of women and areas where screening attendance is particularly low
4. HPV vaccination uptake must remain high:
- The government, NHS, public health bodies, local authorities, GPs and education providers should work together to ensure uptake does not fall and aim to increase uptake
5. Improved awareness about the symptoms of cervical cancer:
- There should be a national symptoms campaign as part of the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign
- Health care professionals, in particular GPs, must be more aware of the NHS pathway for young women under 25 presenting with symptoms
Better support for women affected
1. Every woman diagnosed with cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities should be given the best possible care, treatment and support
2. Every woman should be told about Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and its services at the point of diagnosis to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and uncertainty
3. The psychological and emotional needs of patients are too often neglected and should be addressed throughout treatment and after care
4. Support related to changes and loss of fertility should be given for all women affected
5. Every health care professional working in secondary care should be aware of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and proactively refer cervical cancer patients to its services
How to get involved
You can help us by contacting your local candidates and asking them to commit to preventing cervical cancer.
- Find out who your candidates are and their email address at www.whocanivotefor.co.uk
- You can contact them via twitter using www.tweetyourcandidate.com