As I mentioned back in June - one of the WI resolutions for 2019/20 was...............
Don’t fear the smear
screening saves around 5,000 lives a year, yet attendance is currently
at its lowest for a decade. The NFWI urges WI members to attend routine
screening, to take action to raise awareness of the importance of
cervical screening and address barriers to attendance to help eradicate
Going for the screening is something that seems obvious to me, I've always been for all breast cancer screening, feeling lucky to live in an area where the mobile breast screening team come to the small towns to save people having to travel to Ipswich hospital, and I've also had my regular cervical smears at the doctors.
We were quite surprised when one WI member admitted that she'd never been to breast screening and never would. The rest of us all went regularly.
Cancer has always been 'just round the corner' in our family. My Mum was one of 6 children and all but one had some form of cancer which shortened their lives. My Aunt on my Dads side of family had cancer before passing away. Then I met Colin and just after our eldest daughter was born his Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she battled with for many years before passing away much too soon. Her brother also had cancer and died quite young too. So when our youngest daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was just 18 it was a horrible shock but not a surprise. Thankfully she was caught in time and she's 32, fit and well and the arrival of Florence was just the icing on the cake. Then of course came Col's diagnoses of Mantle Cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma which is a blood cancer and again a huge and horrible shock but somehow not a surprise.
And then you get to age 60 and a letter arrives telling you that every two years you are going to be sent a kit to screen for bowel cancer. And you have to send your poo off in the post - which always seems so Very Weird!
When my testing kit arrived two weeks ago I couldn't believe two years had passed, the test was much simpler this time, just one sample needed instead of 3. The letter telling me all was OK arrived Wednesday - good news indeed.
There's no way I would miss out on any sort of screening, it's a simple way of keeping a look-out for that dreadful but oh-so common disease.