From 23 – 29 January is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2023, all week long the gynaecology team at St George’s have been raising awareness.

In the UK, you are automatically invited for cervical screening if you are between the ages of 25 and 64, are registered as female with your GP surgery and if you have a cervix.

The colposcopy team shared some facts about HPV and cervical screening. Did you know?

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the name of a common virus that is usually passed on through sexual contact. Because HPV lives on our skin it is easy to get and about 8 in 10 people will have it at some point during their life.
  • We know of over 200 types of HPV, about 40 of them affect the genital area and split them into two categories, low-risk, and high-risk HPV.
  • Most HPV types are low-risk and may cause minor conditions like genital warts.
  • High-risk HPV is linked to some cancers. It is important to remember that if you have any type of HPV, including high-risk HPV, your body will usually get rid of it without any problems.
  • A good immune response to HPV means that about 90% of people will clear HPV without it causing any problems.
  • There are 3 HPV vaccines available in the UK. Gardasil is currently offered free in schools to girls and boys aged 11 to 13.

St George’s Gynaecology team set up a stall in main reception to educate staff, patients and visitors on these facts this week.

Please note that cervical screening is not a test for cancer, so if you have any unusual or worrying symptoms please contact you GP for an examination.

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