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Cervical cancer warning to women 24.01.08

WOMEN in Inishowen are being urged to protect themselves against cervical cancer.
European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is currently underway in a bid to raise awareness about all aspects of the disease.
Figures show that around 180 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in Ireland every year with 73 of those cases resulting in death.
The figures were outlined by female politicians in the region who called on women to keep themselves healthy.
“A lot of the problem lies in confusion or ignorance of the disease and the campaign being run by the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in association with the Irish Family Planning Association 
Marian Harkin MEP, pictured in Brussels this week signing the petition calling for an effective cervical cancer programme throughout Europe.
aims to inform women about the actions they can take to protect themselves," said Senator Cecilia Keaveney. “It is very common - in fact up to 80 per cent of women will come into contact with the virus at some point in their lifetime."
Meanwhile, Independent MEP, Marian Harkin this week signed the ‘Stop Cervical Cancer’ petition in the European Parliament in Brussels.
"Our mortality rate for cervical cancer is above the European average for the EU 15, according to figures published for 2002 and this is totally unacceptable," said Ms. Harkin.
Cervical cancer is caused by a common virus, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is transmitted through sexual intercourse or intimate skin-to-skin genital contact.
The Government is planning to roll out a National Cervical Screening Programme this year to provide free screening for women aged between 25 and 44 every three years and every five years for women ages 45 to 60.
Both female politicians said it was imperative this screening programme goes ahead without delay.
More information on cervical cancer is available from local GPs or from any Irish Family Planning Clinic. The national Cancer Helpline can also help with queries and can be reached on 01 800 200 700.
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