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Free women’s health checks

Well-women

Cervical cancer is diagnosed in about 150 women a year in New Zealand, with about 50 women dying from it.  What a lot of women do not realise, is that in 97% of cases, cervical cancer is preventable - but only if you have a regular smear test. Well Women & Family Trust offers free, confidential health checks to all women, and you can go along regardless of your circumstances, age, ethnicity, or culture.

The figures speak for themselves. Without cervical screening, one in 90 women will develop cervical cancer, and one out of 200 will die from it. With cervical screening, one out of 570 will develop cervical cancer and one out of 1280 will die from it. It takes 10 – 15 years for infected cells to become cancerous, but regular screening will pick it up within that time.

Jane Piper, general manager of Well Women & Family Trust, says many women are scared or embarrassed about having a smear test. She says the reasons vary and include: fear of cancer, fear of pain, shyness, language barriers, cost, and lack of knowledge. She wants to reassure women that the service is private and confidential, and that, “Our nurses are experts, they are females, and they are gentle. We take pride in explaining things to people.”

The Trust not only checks women for cancer; it gives a holistic service – carrying out health checks, finding a second opinion if needed, referring onto a hospital service, and providing transport to a second appointment. Jane says the service is “based on wellness and prevention.”

To find out more, or book an appointment go to wons.org.nz or phone 846 7886.

Also look out for mobile clinics at events.

 

Side bar 

 

Who should have a smear test?

 

All women aged 25 to 69 years who have ever been sexually active

You still need one if you have had children

You can have a smear if you are pregnant

You still need a smear if you are post menopausal

You still need a smear even if you don’t have sex anymore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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