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06-Jun-11, 16:48
Take advantage of Cervical Screening Awareness Week

WOMEN in Highland are being urged to take up invitations for cervical screening tests as part of Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which runs from June 6 to June 12.
Those aged 20 to 60 years across Scotland are invited to reduce their risk of cervical cancer by having a free, quick, screening test every three years.
It is estimated that screening and treating early changes in the cervix prevents around three quarters of cervical cancers developing. Unfortunately, some women do not take part.
During 2008, 305 women across Scotland were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 102 women died from the condition. About half of women who get cervical cancer have not undergone regular screening and their cancers are usually more advanced.
Many young women will now have been vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV infection is a risk factor for cervical cancer. However, there are different types of HPV and the vaccine does not protect against all of them.
Therefore, NHS Highland is urging all women aged 20 to 60 years to take part in cervical screening.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine and NHS Highland's Cervical Screening Co-ordinator, Dr Rob Henderson, said: “Cervical screening aims to pick up early changes in the cervix so these can be assessed and treated if necessary. Some changes may increase the chance of cervical cancer occurring. However, it's possible to treat these changes, meaning many cervical cancers can be prevented before they have even had a chance to develop.”
Dr Henderson continued: “Participation in the cervical screening programme is high within Highland. However, almost a fifth of women who are invited for screening don’t take up the offer. Women in their 20s are less likely to take part than women aged 30 years and over. I would encourage all women invited to take part in cervical screening to do so.Vaccination will stop the HPV infections that lead to four fifths of cancers, but screening is the only way to pick up the other ones.
Women can attend their GP practice for cervical screening. In addition, screening is also available at sexual health / contraception clinics. For information on clinic times and locations, please phone 01463 704552.

Pysio department frames a zimmer appeal

MEMBERS of the public are being asked to look around their house, garage and loft for any crutches, zimmer frames or walking sticks that they have been given by the NHS that are now no longer used.
Raigmore Hospital’s Physiotherapy Department is holding an amnesty week in a bid to encourage people to return items that they no longer need.
Physiotherapist Alana Fraser said: “In order to make best use of NHS Highland resources, we would ask any members of the public who have any walking aids or kitchen/bathroom aids to please return them.
“Equipment such as walking sticks, crutches and zimmers frames is frequently lent out to patients to use during convalescence. Once the patient is better or no longer needs the item the equipment can be returned and refurbished to be given to someone else who needs it.”
Ms Fraser explained that the hospital gives walking aids like these out on a regular basis and the costs soon add up with a pair of crutches costing anything from £20 and a zimmer frame costing approximately £30.
She said: “We are making an appeal to anyone who still has walking aids that they no longer need to use this week as an opportunity to return them to the hospital or one of the designated points.”
The amnesty week runs from Monday 13th June to Friday 17th. This will allow any patient or their relatives or friends to return a walking aid, which is no longer used, these can be inspected, refurbished if necessary, and are then available for issue to patients.
Anyone who does have equipment is asked to take it to the physiotherapy department at Raigmore Hospital or Inverness Tesco branches.