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PR and Med Ed news in brief

Our weekly round-up of news in brief

First gynae cancer awareness campaign
The first national campaign to raise awareness of the four major gynaecological cancers - ovarian, cervical, endometrial and vulval - is taking place this week. The initiative, the Venus Appeal, aims to encourage women to be more aware of the four main gynaecological cancers and to consult their GP if they have any concerns. Every year over 17,000 women are diagnosed with one of these four major cancers; however, embarrassment surrounding the disease can result in many women delaying a trip to the doctor, which often has a significant impact on survival rates. To reassure women that they are not wasting anyone's time in going to the doctor with their concerns, Venus Appeal posters and leaflets are being made available through doctorss surgeries and online at www.venusappeal.org. After four years concentrating on raising awareness in Manchester and the surrounding region, this year the Venus Appeal expanded to become a national campaign, kicking off with the simultaneous release of tagged balloons in Liverpool, Preston and Manchester, on September 18.

Cervical cancer report warns of complacency
Leading cervical cancer experts have warned health professionals against the dangers of becoming complacent about cervical cancer prevention in the UK, following the launch of a report that says that education is key to maintaining the success of screening programmes. The report serves a stark reminder to healthcare professionals to stay vigilant in order to maintain this success. While screening prevents many deaths from cervical cancer each year, doctors and nurses have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that women are screened regularly and are informed about how best to protect themselves from the disease. ìThe UK cervical screening programme has been a great health success story for those women who have come forward for regular smears,î said Dr George Kassianos, GP and fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. ìPerforming a smear test may be routine practice for health professionals but we have to remember that a number of women find the process embarrassing at best, and very traumatic at worst. This along with misconceptions and misunderstandings about screening may explain why we've been seeing inadequate attendances for screening women under 30. We need to do all we can to make a good system of prevention,î he added.

2nd September 2008

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