Diabetes and cervical screening awareness weeks begin

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HEALTH bosses are advising people about the importance of checking their well-being as two awareness weeks get under way today.

National Cervical Screening Awareness Week and Diabetes Awareness Week both end on Saturday, June 16th.

The former campaign is aimed at all women eligible for screening, but particularly women aged 25 to 29, who are least likely to respond to screening invitations.

Paul Johnstone, director of public health at NHS North of England, said: “It’s vitally important women keep their appointment for their smear test. This simple test really can be a life-saver.

“The test can detect any abnormalities or changes in the cervix which, if left untreated, could lead to cervical cancer. Screening is the most effective way of preventing this cancer from developing.

“More than four million women in the UK are invited to attend a smear test every year. Of those tested, more than 90% receive a normal smear result. We want to do all we can to ensure every single woman who receives an invitation attends her appointment.

“If you have any symptoms which worry you, such as abnormal bleeding, pain or a discharge you should see your GP as soon as possible, rather than wait for your next screening appointment.”

People are also being urged to get checked for diabetes.

Health experts say thousands of people in the region could have the condition without realising it.

Mr Johnstone said: “Diabetes can go undetected for years so it is important people are aware of the symptoms so they can get the right treatment.

“If you are finding you are extremely thirsty, need to urinate more often than usual, you’re constantly tired or have recurrent thrush, you should make an appointment with your GP to get checked.

“It is really important diabetes is picked up and treated at an early stage. If left, it can cause serious health conditions later on, such as circulation problems, heart disease, eye disease and kidney damage.”