Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew welcomes Cervical Screening Awareness Month this September encouraging women to get up to date with their cervical smears.
“The theme of this year’s campaign is for women to think about how their health matters not just to them, but also to those they love,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“We know that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers, but it’s all about early detection.
“By having regular smears the risk of developing cervical cancer is reduced by around 90 per cent. That’s a very compelling reason for women to check if they are due for a smear.”
A cervical smear test usually takes less than 15 minutes and should be done every three years. Around 1.5 million women aged 20 to 70 years are currently enrolled in the National Cervical Screening Programme with 400,000 of those screened in the last year.
“Good progress has been made in recent years in improving the uptake of regular smears, particularly among Māori, Pacific and Asian women. But, we can always do better,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“This campaign is aimed at ensuring women have the information they need, know how to check if they are up to date, and know where to go for more information or to make an appointment.”
The one month campaign begins on 1 September and providers across the country will be using social media, radio advertising and local press to make sure the message gets out to women.
To find out when your next smear is due either call your GP or free-phone 0800 729 729. For more information visit www.cervicalscreening.govt.nz
Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129