On Saturday 24 June, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust held a flash mob in partnership with Roche Diagnostics at the Angel of the North.
This event was part of the ongoing public awareness campaign – Let’s Talk Cervical Screening – to educate people with a cervix about HPV and cervical screening, also known as the ‘smear test’.
Joint Colposcopy Service Lead, Sharon Denise Clark said, “I’m so excited to have developed and to be part of this flash mob which is aimed at raising awareness among women and people with a cervix about the importance of attending their cervical screening.
“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to enhance public understanding of women’s health, combining two passions that are extremely close to my heart – dancing and cervical screening.
“We need to dispel the myths around cervical screening and break down apprehensions, and this is a great and fun way of communicating these messages.”
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in those with a cervix under the age of 35, yet 1 in 3 do not attend routine cervical screening.
Around 80% of people can at some point have HPV and around 90% of infections clear within 2 years. Some can go on to develop pre-cancerous changes or abnormalities who have HPV.
Consultant biomedical scientist, Kay Ellis said, “We receive over 10,000 samples per week, which equates to over half a million samples per year from the whole of the North East, Yorkshire and Humber region. We stretch from Berwick down to the south of Sheffield.
“We have a dedicated transport system that picks up all the samples from 1,800 areas including GPs, hospitals, and prisons. We then test the samples in the laboratory for human papillomavirus which you may know as HPV, and of those samples, about 85% will be negative.
“Of those that are positive, we then look at them down the microscope and assess whether you need a follow-up, any treatment, or can be returned to the normal recall.”
Contact your GP to book your screening appointment. Cervical screening saves lives.