Canterbury women are urged to use Cervical Screening Awareness Month this September as a reminder to have a cervical smear test every three years.
Vivienne Back from the Canterbury Cervical Screening Programme team says the aim of the programme is to reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and those who die from it. Through regular screening the programme aims to detect precancerous cell changes which, if not treated, may lead to cancer.
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"The Cervical Screening Programme staff will be out in force over September with health days, clinics, displays and so much more! Look out for us and…..Take care and have a smear!" Vivienne says.
"We know that cost can be a barrier to getting a smear, and to help address this during September we're holding extra free smear clinics for women with low uptake of smears – specifically Māori, Pacific and Asian women, and women over 30 who have never had a smear or are more than 5years overdue".
Women can get a cervical smear at their General Practice. The following healthcare providers are also able to provide smears to Canterbury women:
He Waka Tapu (03 373 8150)
Pacific Trust Canterbury (03 377 8159)
the Family Planning Association (03 379 0514)
the National Cervical Screening Programme (0800 729 729).
Women who are not sure when their smear is due, or who want to become part of the National Cervical Screening Programme can contact their GP, ring 0800 729 729 or go to www.cervicalscreening.govt.nz