Hammers support #SmearForSmear

West Ham United Ladies are encouraging women to attend their smear test during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35. It is also one of the only cancers that can be prevented and if every woman attended their smear test when invited the number of diagnoses and lives lost would be greatly reduced.

Quite simply, smear tests are the best protection against cervical cancer. They prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing and save thousands of lives every year. Yet the number of women attending this potentially lifesaving test is falling every year across the UK.

In London, one in every three women do not go for their smear test and among 25-29 year olds only one in two attend.

West Ham United Ladies want this to change and are supporting #SmearForSmear, a campaign by national charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust that is being run in Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – starting on Monday 22 January.

The Ladies have filmed a special promotional video to raise awareness, which you can watch on Twitter @WestHamLadies.

It sounds like just another hashtag, yet the campaign has a vitally important but simple message: smear tests save lives.

The reasons women do not attend smear tests are wide ranging with embarrassment, fear and not understanding who or what the test is for often preventing them from going, while others simply forget. Seeing the hashtag could be just the reminder or encouragement a woman needs to go for her smear test. It is a hashtag that could literally save a life.

Karen Ray, General Manager of West Ham United Ladies, is proud to be supporting the campaign.

“We feel, with 432 girls within our remit it is important to raise awareness for something so close to us all. Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, yet one in three young women ignore their letter. It is a disease that kills two women every day.”

“Everyone has a female figure in their life; a mum, sister, grandmother, daughter, aunt, partner or friend so it’s time you do your bit by encouraging them to attend their screening. There are moments in life that will hurt more than others; do not let a missed test be one of them.

“If West Ham United Ladies can remind one person to get their smear test and prevent Cervical Cancer then we have succeeded. We are determined to help make Cervical Cancer history, so urge you to encourage a loved one to beat the odds and attend their screening.”

Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said the Hammers can play a big part in raising awareness

“West Ham United has a huge reach and influence and can help us get messages about cervical cancer prevention out to a large audience, especially about the importance of smear tests. We have women in our lives that we love and care about and can all play a part in helping protect them from cervical cancer.

“A simple reminder, conversation or comment could make all the difference. I’m thrilled that the team are supporting our campaign to encourage more women to attend and hope the fans reading this will do so as well.”

Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, chief medical officer for UCLH Cancer Collaborative, also endorsed West Ham’s support for the campaign, adding: “We are delighted to be working with West Ham United Foundation and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to support the #SmearForSmear campaign and raise awareness of the importance of having a smear test. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35 and it is very treatable if diagnosed early. Having a smear test is the most effective way of detecting cervical cancer early so that treatment can begin quickly.”

For further information or support about smear tests and cervical cancer, visit jostrust.co.uk now.