Tuesday 10 December 2019

Revealed: What you said had the biggest impact on your decision to have cervical screening

HPV vaccine. Photo: PA
HPV vaccine. Photo: PA

Denise Calnan and Eilish O'Regan

A GP has a bigger impact on a woman's decision to have cervical screening than her family or friends.

The majority of women chose their GP as having the biggest influence on their decision to book a smear test, according to a poll on Independent.ie.

The poll, which featured as part of a series of articles on the important of cervical screening, asked readers; "Who or what would have the biggest impact on your decision to have cervical screening?".

A total of 29pc opted for their GP, while 19pc mentioned their family. 15pc of readers said their friends would have the biggest impact on their decision, while another 15pc opted for 'Other'.

Finally, 14pc of readers said an article they read would influence their decision, while 8pc opted for 'Advertising'.

The results are in tandem with a recent study led by the National Cancer Registry, which found that GPs have the crucial role in influencing women to have a test, more so than family planning and women's health clinics.

“Women were predominantly very trusting of their GP and the information provided by them,” said the study, spearheaded by Mairead O'Connor.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but a check on the health of the cells of the cervix.

Most women's test results will show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

However, most of these changes won't lead to cervical cancer and the cells can return to normal without intervention.

In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they cannot progress to cancer.

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