Cervical cancer is a bitch.
Plain and simple.
It’s one of those diseases that can so easily be prevented and yet still there remains little knowledge on the subject.
So for anyone who isn’t sure, here’s the basics.
Every woman on the planet is born with a cervix. It’s the tube that dilates (gets bigger) inside you to allow babies out during labour. It’s one of the most important parts of the internal female anatomy. Like all parts of the human body, the cervix has its own cells. Tiny little living organisms that help maintain it. Sometimes these cells can become different and damaged. The damaged cells, if left unchecked, can cause cancer.
Cancer kills. Indiscriminately . Cancer doesn’t care if you eat kale, go running everyday and pray to a God. Cancer, if left untreated, will kill you.
However, back in 1940 in America, a genius of a man decided to find a way to prevent this. A simple, painless examination that could ensure early detection of these cells. Dr Georges Papanicolaou came up with the idea of using a small swab to collect the cells for analysis and thus found a way to save women’s lives. He called it the Pap smear, or as the UK know it, a Smear test.
And yet, there are still thousands of women who suffer this awful fate.
The reasons I’ve heard can be as simple as ‘I don’t know what it is’ or ‘I’m too scared’ and sometimes stupidly ‘I don’t even need that’.
Personally, I was always a bit anxious about having them. I’m 27 years old and a mother, so I had my first one 2 years ago. I had been told by my mother and nan what it entailed and what it was for. And yet, I’ll admit I did think about not doing it. A moment of stupidity. It passed and I went ahead with the test.
The procedure to take the cells require you to be naked from the waist down, a speculum inserted into your vagina to allow access to the cervix and then a cotton swab gently rubbed against your cervix.
It takes no more than a minute.
It’s completely painless.
It could save your life.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is a charity aimed solely at women who have been affected by cervical cancer. It has one goal. A goal that I can completely agree with.
To make Cervical Cancer a thing of the past.
For that to happen they need support and donations.
I had heard of the #smearforsmear campaign and had always been supportive whenever anyone asked for a donation. This year however, I was made aware of a change in the movement.
Bethany aka @bnailedtoperfection, spoke about her own experiences with having a smear test and her lucky escape due to early detection. She also spoke about how she wanted the nail community to get involved with the #smearforsmear campaign but with a nail twist.
Instead of creating seamless, perfect nail art; between the dates of January 22nd – 28th, Bethany wanted us to smear our nails INTENTIONALLY.
I spent sometime coming up with some designs and ways that I could smear them. And yet every time I tried to do it, I would mess up massively. At one point I smeared so hard I took the whole thing off! This smearing intentionally business was harder than I thought!
Then I remembered, I have a bright red lipstick and nail polish which are exactly the same shade. So, instead of smeared nail art I stuck to the original format but matched my nail polish.
Barry M, Blood Orange was a perfect match for my favourite red lippie.
And here is the lipstick smear,
I have made a small donation to the campaign. For those thinking ‘I don’t have much money right now’, I feel your pain but seriously 5p could still make a difference. Your 5p could be the last 5p they need before curing the disease. It’s 5p totally well spent. To make a donation, big or small, click here.
Do your bit ladies. Donate, campaign for better awareness and get your smears done.
I hope that my words may have helped at least one women agree to a smear test. It may well save your life.
Thank you to Bethany for bringing the campaign to my attention and for helping promote such a worthy cause.
And thanks to you all for reading!