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The best not nice thing you can do

And so says the slogan for cervical screening awareness month - and what a great slogan. None of us enjoy them, but hopefully more and more of us can see the value in early detection and prevention of cervical cancer.

As a nation we have done well in reducing deaths from cervical cancer through our national screening programme – with deaths reducing by 60% since 1990. But there is still a way to go as every year we lose nearly 60 wonderful NZ women to this disease.

And so many of those losses can be avoided through regular testing and increased awareness. As with many things in life, it doesn’t take much time but it can make a big difference. Half an hour of your time every three years could save your life, and mean that you are there for your family and loved ones.

Let’s face it – it’s not something any of us enjoy, or talk about much - but we know it needs to be done. So if you are between 20 and 70 then make a commitment to get checked out – and keep getting checked out. The great thing with the national screening programme is that once you’re registered they will remind you when you are next due, so keep your address details updated with them!

Think about cervical screening as a kind of life insurance policy – it’s better to get checked regularly and if anything goes wrong, it gets picked up and managed early, rather than waiting till its too late. There are never any guarantees – but your chances of being around for a long time are better the earlier it is picked up.

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