Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
It's Cervical Cancer Prevention week and Heart have been speaking to Doctors on the HPV jab, experts on cervical screening as well as a cancer sufferer in remission.
3 thousand new cases are diagnosed in the UK every year with a thousand women dying from the disease every 12 months.
Mel Lord, was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 30 after going for a screening when she moved house and has since had a hysterectomy. Despite this she feels lucky that she caught it early enough and has gone on to live a normal life and even run Race for Life. She surprised herself with the pragmatic approach she took on dealing with the disease and is really thankful for all the help she's received from Race for Life and Macmillan nurses who've supported her all the way.
She told Heart: "It was a shock to the system, but the key thing that they said to me was they caught it early. I'm very lucky in a sense because I went for a smear test on time, if I hadn't and because I wasn't aware of the symptoms it could have progressed. "
To prevent the disease the HPV jab was introduced in most schools across the West Midlands last year for young girls aged 12-14.
A 14 year old girl from Coventry died after getting the vaccine but despite not being linked directly to the jab...it sparked fears among mums and young girls from having it - but Doctor Joe Jordan from the Health Harmony Centre in Edgbaston says it is a major breakthrough:
"This is the only cancer that we can more or less prevent, the jab is safe it's effective and I urge every mother to ensure they get their daughters vaccinated. "
Jade Goody raised awareness about Cervical cancer as her legacy to all women after dying from the disease on Mothers Day in March last year.
Doctors and hospitals then saw a huge rise in the number of women going for Cervical smears and screening, but Colposcopy Nurse Debbie Wise from Birmingham's Women's Hospital fears that may have dropped off again.
She told Heart it's very important for women to go to their smears: "We're all about preventing cervical cancer "
"Smears pick up abnormalities that are pre-cancerous cells that we can put back to normal and prevent cancer, it's so easy to put right. "