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Monday, 23 July 2012

Cervical Cancer: Have you had a smear test?

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Hope all is well in the land of blogsville after some time out attending to other commitments ~ my apologies as always. During my absence, I stumbled on a recent article in an online publication about cervical cancer. I've  read about cervical cancer and how it affects women in the past but this publication was of particular interest because recent research has shown an apparent apathy towards going for smear test by women of black and ethnic minority origin in the UK. An alarming 40% of Black and ethnic minority women feel the smear test is an unnecessary health test. Well in my view, the days of labelling cancers as a 'white man's' disease is well and truly over. Changes in lifestyle, environmental factors and even genetic factors puts us as much at risks in comparison with any other ethnic group.

The story is not different in Nigeria where a poorly resourced healthcare system in addition to very low enlightenment means many of our women may or are likely to suffer from cervical cancer and its consequences now or in the future.

I encouraged my wife to go for a smear test only recently and thankfully the results came back with no issues. I am also encouraging every woman who reads this post to seriously consider going for a smear test if not already had one done. It is a painless procedure that only takes a few minutes and you should get the results back in a matter of days. If you live in the UK, it is free on the NHS, you just need to book an appointment with your GP. I would imagine that would be the case in the rest of the western world. I know it won't be that easy for those who live in Nigeria but I'm sure if we create the awareness needed, it may help bring about support from Governments at every level and NGOs to ensure as many women as possible get tested.

Please spread the message and in doing so hopefully more black women will either be vaccinated or tested for cervical cancer. We don't want to blame another 'untimely' death to 'witches and wizards' which could have been better avoided by just making a sensible choice.


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