An encouraging childminder offers free childcare for mothers so they can go to smear tests and save their life.
Sadie Mossman who runs Giggletotz Childminding in Flintshire offers free one hour sessions to help busy mothers fit in their cervical screening.
The mother of three from Ewloe knows how important it is to make and keep the essential appointments after a routine smear test that she showed she had abnormal cells – and was treated for it.
He said: "I know, as a mother who works for three, when that brown envelope from the GP arrives to say that it's time to organize my usual smear test, like many others t I'm tempted to leave it to one side and come to it later And then, with the busy lives most of us all lead, maybe we will not collect it at all.
"If I had done that when I was 19, I might not be here today. My usual smear test showed unusual cells that I eventually had treatment for. Twenty years later, I was; Still having it hard to book for the screening, who's going to watch my kids, when can I fit in with work?
"This time, I made sure I had the time because my mother had also booked for a normal mammogram last year and what she found she had breast cancer. All and fortunately she is all clear and doing well, but it shows how important these screenings are and, if caught early, they can be treated. "
More than 30,000 women in North Wales lost last year's smear tests with embarrassment and are often scared.
Almost a quarter of women (23.6%) who were invited for smear tests by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in 2017/18 did not attend, Cervical Screening Wales figures show.
And the number of women attending cervical screening in the region has fallen from 78.9% in 2013-14 to 76.4% in 2017/18 – a decrease of 2.5%.
Ms Mossman said: "It has been 10 years since Jade Goody died from Cervical Cancer, and although she campaigned for women to attend their screening 10 years after smear tests, they are at an all-time low, about sex. T reason why women choose not to go I felt that childcare is often a problem or an excuse not to attend and if I could relieve the same pressure then why not offer it?
"I feel that women don't attend because they feel embarrassed, they have concerns about their appearance or they say it's too hard to make an appointment and they'ven't got the time.
"The test itself is very simple and can be carried out at your surgery, often by the Nurse who sees hundreds of women every year. It only takes a few minutes and although it may be a little uncomfortable, the test is not painful.
"Don't let unhappiness, uncertainty about your body or be too busy stop you attending a life-saving test. So women get your smear, a child needs their mother and you don't have an excuse not to!"
Cervical Cancer – The Facts
Around 160 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year in Wales.
This is the most common cancer among women under 35 years of age.
Regular screening can reduce the risk of 70% cervical cancer. Screening can change cells and, if necessary, these changes can be treated to prevent cancer developing.
Screening is not a test for cancer, but sometimes the test raises early cancers. Early detection of cervical cancers is easier.
Even if you have had a normal smear result, it is always important to tell your doctor about any new symptoms. These symptoms would include: t
- Bleeding after the menopause
- Unusual vaginal discharge – it may have a different smell, appearance or consistency (for example, it may be thicker) t
Visit www.cervicalscreeningwales.wales.nhs.uk/home for more information.
Women who wish to take advantage of Ms Mossman's offer can do so sensibly through Facebook or over the phone.
She has been babysitting for just over three years and has been registered to care for children aged 0-12 years.
To inquire visit www.facebook.com/giggletotzchildminding or call 07518099110.