Jan 23

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Host Girls’ Night Out For Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

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Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s only dedicated cervical cancer charity, supported Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20-26 January) in style with the ultimate girl’s night out last night. I went along with Frost writer and fellow actress Paola Berta. I had a great chat with sexpert Tracey Cox and uber glamourous showbiz journalist Zoe Griffin. TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger looked amazing in a studded leather jacket and black leggings.

I had an abnormal smear in 2010 so it is a cause that is very close to my heart. Girls’ Night Out host Zoe Griffin and author, Tracey Cox, shared their experiences of cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities with a celebrity audience to raise awareness of this preventable disease and urge more women to attend their cervical screenings.

Over 60 guests, including Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Dawn Harper, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson and TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger, joined the party. All guests were treated to goody bags with thanks to Lucky Voice, Vita Coco, Butlers in the Buff, Beverly Hills Formula, Walkers Sunbites, Blue Nun, Lauren’s Way and Ferrero Rocher.

Frost’s editor Catherine Balavage is in the pink, third from left.

Every day nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three lives are lost to the disease. Cervical screening can help reduce these numbers and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust urges more women to attend as statistics show a worrying downward trend in cervical screening uptake. The cervical screening programme saves 5,000 lives each year in the UK yet 20% of women are not attending their test, and for girls aged between 25 and 29 this figure drops significantly to 1 in 3 – a worrying statistic as cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35.

Robert Music, Director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “The focus of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2013 is to raise public awareness by providing information about the causes of the disease and ways to prevent it. With the exception of a dramatic rise in 2009 following Jade Goody’s battle with cervical cancer, since 2002 figures[1] have declined year on year culminating in a 3% drop in screening uptake to 78.6% over the past 10 years. The more we can do to stress the importance of this life saving test the better.

“This year we have also focused on symptoms awareness and early detection as a study[2] we have commissioned shows that women are more likely to seek medical attention with common ailments such as a cough and cold, rather than with symptoms like abnormal bleeding which include bleeding in between periods or after sex.

“Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is thrilled to raise awareness of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week with the help of some friends and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners for their support.”

Paola Berta and Catherine Balavage

Author Tracey Cox added: “I was diagnosed with cervical cancer when I was 30 and had two cone biopsies as a result. It was picked up early, so I was lucky. But if I hadn’t been screened, I wouldn’t have made it to 32. It was an incredibly frightening experience and one most women can avoid if they get regular screenings. I’m delighted to be supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust important work in raising awareness and I’m constantly nagging friends to be vigilant about getting screened on a regular basis. It saved my life and it can save yours too.”

Author and celebrity blogger Zoe Griffin of livelikeavip.com said: “I was diagnosed with cervical abnormalities, but early detection meant I could treat the problem. When I opened the envelope giving me the all clear I felt a huge relief. It is essential that people attend their cervical screening test so that, like me, abnormalities can be treated before they turn into cancer.”

Dr Dawn Harper said: “Cervical cancer is a preventable disease thanks to cervical screenings so it’s absolutely vital that women keep up to date with their invitations. There may be nicer ways to spend your time but the test is painless and should only take around five minutes. I would encourage anyone who is overdue their screening to make an appointment now. Don’t put your health at the bottom of your agenda.”

For more information on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust visit www.jostrust.co.uk