Local MSP Rona Mackay made a speech in the Scottish Parliament this week to raise awareness around cervical cancer screening.
Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer in females in the UK, accounting for around 2 per cent of all new cancer cases.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a common virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Ms Mackay said:
“Cervical cancer screening is a great NHS success story. It has been available all my adult life and can pick up any abnormalities at an early stage, which allows painless treatment that prevents cancer. All women aged 25 and 64 are invited to attend cervical screening, and I can honestly say that I do not think I have ever missed receiving a reminder. The system works, and it saves 5,000 women’s lives a year throughout the UK.
”For the past 10 years, the HPV vaccine has been offered to girls from secondary 1 to S3 in Scottish secondary schools, which is a fantastic public health initiative. The immunisation helps to protect against the types of HPV that cause 75 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer.
“The test can be uncomfortable, but it takes less than two minutes—and that may be the most important two minutes a person can spend.
“Let us get the message out loud and clear to women and girls: the test is too important to miss; it will give you peace of mind that everything is okay and, more important, it could save your life.”