According to a new report from the national quality base for cervical cancer screening, Dansk Kvalitetsbase for Livmoderhalskræftscreening, fewer Danish women are choosing to be screened for cervical cancer.
The report revealed that 64.2 percent of the 318,000 women called in for a free screening showed up, compared to 68.5 percent in 2012. The health services contend that the share ought to be around 75 percent.
A recent British survey, which was carried out by the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, showed that insecurities and embarrassment about their bodies is a considerable reason why women stay away from the screenings.
“It sounds quite plausible and it could also be a factor among Danish women, combined with other factors,” Berit Andersen, a doctor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University, told Metroxpress newspaper.
“There are also a lot of younger women who think that because they’ve had the HPV vaccine they feel safe and don’t need to do a screening, but that’s a misunderstanding as the vaccine doesn’t rule out all forms of cancer.”
A life saver
According to figures from cancer organisation Kræftens Bekæmpelse, two out of every three women who get cervical cancer haven’t been screened regularly.
Women who take part in the screening process reduce their risk of getting the illness by upwards of 90 percent.
In Denmark, women aged 23-64 are invited to screenings every three years.
In the British survey, which was based on the responses of 2,000 women, 54 percent said they stayed away from their screening because they were concerned whether the smell of their vaginas was normal.
Some 50 percent were embarrassed about their bodies, while other reasons included being worried about how their vaginas looked.
Furthermore, 34 percent said they would rather not know if something was wrong and, astoundingly, 33 percent said they wouldn’t turn up if they hadn’t shaved or waxed their privates before their appointment.