MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, Derek Mackay, is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to tackle the myths and stigma around the human papillomavirus (HPV).
This year, Scotland’s cervical screening programme is moving to test for HPV first, a far more sensitive test that will save lives, but also means many more women will be told they have HPV.
Derek Mackay MSP is backing Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s #SmearForSmear campaign to tackle the misconceptions about the virus.
In the majority of cases, HPV infection goes away without doing the body any harm. Sometimes, however, it causes cells to change which, if not treated, could develop into cervical cancer. Testing for HPV is a far more accurate test estimated to prevent almost 500 diagnoses of cervical cancer every year in the UK.
Derek Mackay MSP said: “I’m backing the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s campaign to encourage as many people in Renfrewshire as possible to understand the importance of cervical screening and feel fully informed and supported when they get their results.
“It is reassuring to know that the charity’s free confidential helpline is informing more women who are being tested for HPV and I urge constituents who want more details about how best to prevent or treat cervical cancer to call 0808 802 8000.”
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “HPV can be confusing but it is nothing to be ashamed of. 80% of us will get at least one type of HPV in our lives and in most cases the immune system will get rid of the infection without it causing any harm. We need to get the facts out about HPV and get rid of harmful myths and stigma around this really common virus.”
For more information, visit www.jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear