We will rarely be too serious on Shimmering Sands, we’re not very serious people, but something we will be very serious about is our health, and ensuring it’s a priority. We are blessed to live the lives we do, let’s not take it for granted.
One shockingly disregarded female essential is the SMEAR test. ‘People’ (some people we have spoken to) seem petrified, but what’s more petrifying, 10 minutes in the Doctors and a preventative if something is wrong, or it being too late and risking losing the battle to cancer? The SMEAR test is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in the cervix. In 2014 alone, there were 890 deaths from cervical cancer, even though it’s a largely preventable illness. Which is ludicrous. Let’s get Serious about the SMEAR ‘people’;
Don’t fear the SMEAR!
- No, it doesn’t hurt
- You should have a SMEAR from the age of 25
- Women do not often report any noticeable symptoms with cervical cancer
- You should go back for a screening every three to five years (more if irregular results)
- More than 9 out of 10 screening results are negative and around 1 in 20 show mild cell changes called mild dyskaryosis
- It’s actually called the Papanicolaou test (abbreviated as Pap test, known earlier as Pap smear, cervical smear, or smear test)
- In the UAE alone, roughly 100 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and statistics show that almost 30 of these women sadly will not survive
- More than 92% of those diagnosed in the early stages of cervical cancer can be successfully cured with minimal side effects if caught at an early stage through a SMEAR test
This is close to our Founders heart after last year discovering after a routine SMEAR test that she had abnormal cells on her cervix which at the time were causing her a huge amount of unknown damage to the cervix, but with fantastic support from the iCare team in Dubai, and regular checkups, she is now monitored regularly to ensure no further damage, and feels at ease knowing she caught it early. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous.
Please don’t allow yourself to leave it too late. Book a SMEAR whether sexually active or not (cancer really doesn’t care) to be safe, as opposed to sorry. You can book a screening at your Doctors, a well woman clinic, family planning clinic or at the genito-urinary medicine GUM department of your local hospital.