Around 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ireland each year. Although it is not the most common form, it is one cancer that is not only preventable but also curable once caught early.
Her week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and I join Dr. I’m joined by Sarah Fitzgibbon, GP and Primary Care Clinical Adviser, to share what we need to know about this cancer, from all the important screenings to symptoms to exclusion.
Dr. Sarah says that even thinking about cancer can be challenging for many and can potentially cause women to delay cervical screening:
“As soon as[people]hear that word, it’s really hard to hear anything else. And that may be one of the reasons why people sometimes put off things like screening for cancer because they’re too close to that word.” Don’t want to lay your head anywhere.
“We know it’s a very difficult disease, but as time goes on, the treatments and outcomes for people diagnosed with so many different types of cancer have changed. And that’s really important for all of us.” It’s important that we get in the habit of talking about it, recognizing the symptoms and doing everything we can to make sure we keep ourselves healthy.”
While this may be a reason, Dr Sara says there is a perception that the process is an uncomfortable one. This may be the case for some women, but there are some things that can be done to make it easier:
“For many women it’s not exactly their favorite thing to do, but it shouldn’t be painful. And for some women, especially perhaps women who have gone through menopause, it can be a little more uncomfortable due to hormonal changes in the vagina.” It is possible
“But there are things we can do about it and it’s really important that if that’s something that’s bothering you or if you have any other questions about the test … go to your GP or your practice nurse.” Give them a ring and chat about what it might mean to you or the reasons you think it might be uncomfortable for you. There’s a lot we can do.”
For more episodes of the show, visit here for tips and advice.
Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe on Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
The Real Health Podcast is in association with Laya Healthcare.