In the UK recently there has been large campaigns raising awareness of the dangers ladies face through avoiding their smear tests. We can all be guilty of it- some not going at all, some of us (me included!) going late- something that I can hand on heart say I will change as from today.
Whether it be through embarrassment, feeling uncomfortable, body confidence issues or negative experiences- there is a list of reasons women don’t go, that is as long as that super long and scary instrument young women picture coming towards them whilst laying on the nurses bed…..the truth is – it’s not what nightmares are made of, and you will be out of that office in 5 minutes flat.
Cervical cancer is a huge killer for women in Uganda, the luxury of free screening is a world away from the reality women here are faced with. Late presentation of cervical cancer is extremely common, Tallulah and I are quickly loosing count of the women we are meeting through Hospice Africa Uganda presenting at a late stage where curative treatment is no longer an option palliative care steps in.
The pain, discomfort, and although always minimised by family and professionals, indignity of this disease, is something I will not forget.
Compare this pain, discomfort and indignity to that of a 5 minute free screening test – some things are not worth the wait.