Local beauty salons offering free treatments as incentive for women to attend cervical screening tests

Date published: 14 February 2019

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Local beauty salons are offering free beauty treatments as an incentive for more women to attend their cervical screening tests.

Shapers Tanning Salon, Milnrow Road, is offering a free bikini wax until the end of March for every woman who books in for their cervical screening, whilst The Hideout Salon and Academy, Albert Royds Street, is offering a free manicure with gel polish for those who have attended (compliment slip confirming test required).

Shapers’ Claire Poulton said: “I’ve had two ladies in this week who have booked their smear tests as a result of running this, one of whom hadn’t been in eight years.

“It’s important to promote awareness, especially as Jade Goody died so young. As soon as my daughter is old enough and gets her letter, she’ll be going having hers done.”

Sarah Harris from The Hideout
Sarah Harris from The Hideout

Sarah Harris, of The Hideout, said: “We all know it’s extremely important to get our smears done, so as an incentive, we are offering a free manicure with gel polish when you’ve had it done. All you need is a stamped compliment slip from the GP confirming you’d had it done.”

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, and every year around 3,000 women are diagnosed, yet one in four women do not attend when invited.

A 2018 survey by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust found a third (31%) of women aged 25-35 admitted they wouldn’t go if they hadn’t waxed or shaved their bikini area, with 35% embarrassed to attend smear tests because of their body shape or the appearance of their vulva (34%).

A third (35%) of the women surveyed said embarrassment has caused them to delay attending, whilst many do not prioritise the potentially life-saving test as one in six (16%) would rather miss their smear test than a gym class and one in seven (14%) a waxing appointment.

All women over the age of 25, who are registered with a GP, are invited for cervical screening, also known as a ‘smear’ test. For those ages between 25 and 49, this is every three years, rising to every five years between the ages of 50 and 64. 

Since the screening programme, which prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing by detecting abnormal cells on the cervix, was introduced in the 1980s, cervical cancer cases have decreased by about 7% each year.

Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Abnormal bleeding during sexual intercourse, or between periods
  • Post-menopausal bleeding (vaginal bleeding that happens after the menopause)
  • Unusual or unpleasant discharge
  • Discomfort or pain during sex
  • Lower back pain

Despite a surge in screenings between 2008 and 2009 – a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Jade Goody effect’ due to the increased exposure after the 27-year-old reality television star died of cervical cancer – latest statistics show that attendance of cervical screening in England is now at its lowest rate for 21 years, with only 71.4% of women having a smear test.

Last year, a number of Rochdale salons followed the ‘#Fannies4Facials’ movement started by a Liverpool salon due to the low rate of screenings, offering a free facial as an incentive for women to attend their smear tests.

Anyone registered with a GP should get an automatic invitation, but anyone can call their GP to check they’re up to date.

Screening is not offered to women under the age of 25 as the condition is very rare in this age group and is only offered to women over the age of 65 who haven't been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests.

To arrange a cervical smear, you can make an appointment to see a practice nurse or a GP, or you can make an appointment at a sexual health clinic by calling 0300 303 8565.

Your Guide to Cervical Screening
©Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust

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