Health

Saturday 30 August 2014

New app launched in UK to encourage cervical cancer screening

A new app has been launched to try and encourage women to take up cervical screening.

The Put Yourself in the Picture app, created by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, sees woman pledge to attend a smear test.

Women who take part can upload a selfie to a digital picture frame before sharing it with friends and family on social media sites.

The app has been launched amid an online cancer awareness campaign, which has gripped social media in recent days.

Women have been posting "bare-faced" selfies of themselves - a picture of them wearing no make up - on social media sites and nominating their friends to do the same.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have seen soaring numbers of women posing for snaps wearing no make-up using the tag #nomakeupselfie.

Charities including Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Campaign have seen thousands of extra donations as a result of the campaign.

A spokeswoman for Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said that cervical screening rates in England have have fallen to "pre-Jade Goody levels".

After the reality star's death five years ago there was a huge surge in the number of women who attended cervical screenings.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland all women aged 25 to 64 are invited for smear tests, in Scotland screening is currently available to women aged between 20 and 60 years, but this will be raised to 25 to 64 years in 2015.

"It's very worrying that five years after Jade Goody's death 20% of women still don't attend a cervical screening which can prevent cervical cancer," said Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust chief executive Robert Music.

"By launching an app which enables people to literally 'put themselves in the picture' on cervical screening, we hope to put cervical screening at the forefront of women's minds so that they don't ignore their incredibly important screening invitation.

"The app has been designed so that people can share their pictures and pledges on social media, so together we can address the decline in uptake of cervical screening in the UK."

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