A SALON owner who has had experience of losing friends to cervical cancer is supporting a campaign to encourage more women to attend their cervical screening.
The ‘Salons for Screening’ campaign involves more than 60 hairdressing and beauty salons in Middlesbrough & Redcar and Cleveland pledging their support to promote cervical screening to clients through informal chats, posters, appointment cards and distribution of the campaign’s ‘Beautiful Inside and Out’ magazine.
It offers customers an opportunity to discuss the importance of screenings, also known as smear tests, in a relaxed surrounding and address any fears and myths around cervical screening.
Yvonne Couhig, owner of Yvonne’s Hair Salon in Grangetown, is backing the campaign because of her own personal experience. She said: “I know quite a few friends who have died from cervical cancer and understand the stigma that can come with having the tests, which is why I’ve become involved in the campaign.
“This area is a hotspot for young women not going for the tests. I work with young women and we have customers of all ages so I know how important a role we can play in encouraging women to go for their screenings.
“We also work with men as well and we have been getting them to spread the word as well because at the end of the day they have just as big a part in encouraging cervical screenings.”
The campaign is part of the wider ‘Screening Saves Lives’ campaign which promotes the importance of screening across the South Tees area.
A cervical screening is a free, simple, routine test available to all women aged 25-64, every 3-5 years which identifies any abnormal cells that could develop into cancer. Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing and saves approximately 4,500 lives every year in England.
Cllr Lynn Pallister, Cabinet Member for Health & Housing at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “I am really pleased to see that more 60 salons in our borough and in Middlesbrough will be supporting our message to increase cervical screenings.
“Screenings have saved thousands of women from cervical cancer in the past but there are still many who don’t have a screening because of confusion, inconvenience or fear. Hopefully being able to discuss the benefits of screenings with someone they know in a less stressful location will encourage more to participate”