Nobody likes talking or even thinking about cancer, especially when you feel fit and healthy.
But cervical cancer doesn't have any symptoms – and the only way to detect it is through regular smear tests.
Thankfully, however, it IS treatable – and with early detection it is curable.
Early detection being the key words.
And this is why it is SO important you attend all scheduled smear tests.
Through screening, doctors can pick up abnormalities at the pre-cancer stage, when it is easily treatable, and having your smear test is a quick, free and painless.
This week is European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22nd-28th January), and to coincide with it the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) and CervicalCheck have launched the Pearl of Wisdom campaign to highlight the vital importance of free regular cervical screening.
They are urging women aged 25-60 to check when their next smear is due, or to book their first test with a doctor or nurse registered with CervicalCheck.
And how can you do that?
Simply click on CervicalCheck.ie and you'll be able to check when you're next appointment is due or make sure you're registered for your first one.
“Each year in Ireland, around 300 women are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and over 90 women die from the disease," Dr. Gráinne Flannelly said when speaking at the Pearl of Wisdom campaign launch.
"The cervical screening provided by CervicalCheck, combined with the HPV vaccination programme, provides the opportunity to significantly reduce these rates.
"So this week, we are calling on all women aged 25 to 60 to check when their next smear test is due, or arrange their first test with a doctor or nurse registered with CervicalCheck if they have never done so."