Women's Health

There are many health issues that affect women and included here is information about some of the more common problems.

This page may not give you all the information you want, so please click onto the links for further information.

Cervical Cancer

What is Cervical Cancer?

  • Cervical Cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix. It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular screening tests.

Cervical Screening: The Facts

  • Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 35 year olds.
  • About 4.4 million aged 25-60 are called for cervical screening each year in the UK.
  • About 2,700 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year.
  • Cervical Cancer can affect any woman who has been sexually active.
  • 3 women die every day from cervical cancer.
  • Screening prevents 75% of cancers from developing.
  • Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Between 90-93% of all smear tests are normal.

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Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

  • There are often no signs, however, there maybe bleeding between periods, after or during sex, at anytime if you are past your menopause.
  • Some women also have a vaginal discharge that smells unpleasant or discomfort or pain during sex.

What to expect:

  1. You will be asked to undress from the waist down.
  2. The doctor/nurse will ask you to lie on a couch.
  3. They will then gently insert a small instrument, called a speculum into your vagina to hold it open.
  4. They will then wipe a small brush over the cervix to pick up some cells.
  5. These cells are then sent away to be examined under a microscope.
  6. The test should not hurt but maybe uncomfortable. If you are tense, try to relax and take deep breaths.
  7. Your results should be posted to you in 6 weeks after your test.

It only takes about 15 minutes and it is only once every 3 years to 5 years...

If you need any more information on Cervical Screening please click on one of the links below:

Cancer Research UK
Jo's Trust
National Cancer Institute

Want to Quit smoking? Island Quitters is your LOCAL NHS Stop Smoking Service. The Specialised advisors at Island Quitters will support you through every step of your quit. The drop-in sessions are friendly, non-judgemental and very informal. For more details on drop-in sessions and one to one appointments call (01983) 814280.

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Breast Awareness

About 44,000 people in the UK each year are diagnosed with breast cancer. The causes of breast cancer are not yet completely understood. The risk of developing breast cancer is very small in young women and increases as women get older. Eight out of ten (80%) breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.

Breast Screening

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK.
  • The first stage of breast screening is a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray of each breast.
  • Women aged 50 – 70 are offered a mammogram every three years.
  • Each year over one and a half million women in the UK have breast cancer screening as part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.


Breast Cancer symptoms

The first symptom of breast cancer for many women is a lump in their breast, this may not always be cancer, but if you notice any changes in your breast you should always go to your GP.

Other changes that could be due to a breast cancer are:

  • A lump or thickening in an area of the breast.
  • A change in the size or shape of a breast.
  • Dimpling of the skin.
  • A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast or becomes irregular in shape.
  • A blood-stained discharge from the nipple.
  • A rash on a nipple or surrounding area.
  • A swelling or lump in your armpit.

Please go onto one of the sites below for further information.

Breast Cancer Care
NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme
Macmillan Cancer Support

Want to Quit smoking? Island Quitters is your LOCAL NHS Stop Smoking Service. The Specialised advisors at Island Quitters will support you through every step of your quit. The drop-in sessions are friendly, non-judgemental and very informal. For more details on drop-in sessions and one to one appointments visit www.nhsstopsmokingiow.co.uk

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Where to get help