This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, gynaecological cancer charity, The Eve Appeal has launched cancer, cancer risk, and cancer screening information, specifically for the transgender, non-binary and intersex communities, as well as tips for healthcare professionals in supporting their patients during screening appointments.
The Eve Appeal has launched these tips, as well as top tips for patients, to enable both professionals and patients to feel more comfortable and confident during cervical screening appointments.
For the transgender, non-binary and intersex communities, often specifically tailored cancer information is difficult to find, sparse, and inaccessible. There are thousands of people in the UK who may be at risk of gynaecological cancers and currently do not have access to the information they need to be aware of signs and symptoms, and confidently take action to prevent gynaecological cancers.
The Eve Appeal raises awareness and funds research for the prevention, risk prediction and early diagnosis of the five gynae cancers, and this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, they want to support everyone with a cervix to get screened.
Adeola Olaitan, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, University College London Hospital, says: “Trans men and non-binary people with gynaecological organs remain at risk of gynae cancers. They may not be aware of their risk, and may not be invited to go for a cervical screening. It is so important that everyone is aware of their risk and the need to attend screening as cervical cancer is almost wholly preventable with the vaccination and the screening programme. The information created by The Eve Appeal will help this community be aware of their risks and feel more comfortable and confident going for cervical screening as well as talking about any worrying symptoms they might be having.”
Michelle O’Hara, who runs a trans specialist cervical screening clinic, 56 Dean Street, says: “Encouraging trans men, non-binary and intersex people with a cervix to have a smear is essential. We offer a service that is accessible, effective, friendly and unbiased. We understand that for some, this can be an emotional experience, and it is perfectly normal to feel anxious. As healthcare professionals, we continuously provide high standards and quality of care to our patients. It is important that patients know that they have complete control of their body, feel reassured and have the right to say ‘stop’ at any time. A positive experience means that patients are more likely to engage in services in the future.”
Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive, The Eve Appeal, says: “We know that for some in the transgender, non-binary and intersex communities, going for their cervical screening appointment can be a difficult, even traumatic experience. We also know that healthcare professionals want to do the best by their patients. This is why, this Cervical Cancer Prevention Week we have launched tips for both healthcare professionals who do cervical screening and their patients from the transgender, non-binary and intersex communities. We hope our Top Tips will help people feel empowered and informed in what can be a very difficult experience, and help healthcare professionals support their patients as much as possible, because we want to help everyone with a cervix prevent cervical cancer.”