Women must be encouraged to lookafter their health during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – Burke

Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Health,Senator Colm Burke has today (Sunday) highlighted European Cervical CancerPrevention Week which begins tomorrow and runs from the 22nd – 28th January,with awareness events taking place nationwide.

“I fully support the Irish Family PlanningAssociation and CervicalCheck’s combined efforts to actively raise awarenessabout cervical cancer. All women aged between 25 and 60 should be stronglyencouraged to get a smear test done.

“Cervical cancer takes a long timeto develop and often has no symptoms until an advanced stage. It has beenproven that regular screening can save lives by detecting abnormalitiesat an early stage.

“Statistics show that every year around300 women are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer and sadly over 90 livesare lost. Cervical cancer ranks as the 8th most frequent cancer among womenin Ireland, and the second most frequent cancer among women aged between15 and 44. Since young teenagers are categorised in the high risk group,it is vital that they are educated and that information is provided toyoung girls in secondary schools.

“By responding to screening programmes,such as CervicalCheck, we can significantly reduce Ireland’s mortalityrate of cervical cancer.

“If everyone encourages their femalefriends and relatives to book an appointment for a smear test during awarenessweek, this could save in excess of 90 lives in 2012.”