Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week Click to enlarge

20 Jan 2020

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week - 20th January to 24th January 2020

In aid of cervical cancer prevention week, we look at the ways that social workers can help during a challenging time for their service user, family and friends. They can also help deal with social or psychological concerns that patients may face during and after treatment.

Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer, it often has no symptoms in its early stages. The best way to protect yourself is to attend a cervical screening, also known as a ‘smear test’. Women aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every 3 years and women aged 50 to 64 are offered screening every 5 years. It is the most common cancer among women under the age of 35. 

Cervical cancer can be caused by HPV, which is a common virus passed on by a man or woman. Many of HPV types are harmless but some types can be a cause of abnormal changes to the cells of the cervix. Smear tests can find high-risk HPV virus and changes early, before it develops into cancer.

Social workers are there to guide and connect with patients by offering them ways to cope with their diagnosis, grief, loss or changes in their life and relationships. The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) argued, back in 2014, that cancer should be viewed as a social care concern as much as it is a health priority. Offering support through a traumatic event in someone’s life can help allow service users to not feel stressed or worried. Having a social worker by their side gives them the opportunity to focus on their treatment and getting better.

“People diagnosed with cancer may also have emotional and practical needs associated with the illness or treatment may require the involvement of social care services” (BASW – Use of health and social care by people with cancer 2014)

Social workers can arrange a lot of home help for their patients, ranging from housework to washing and dressing. They offer a way to help identify financial resources by checking the benefits available to their patients. They can also advise patients about charity grants for things like extra heating costs or special diets. Schemes like these help spread understanding through difficult situations and aid development of alternative ways to improve the service of social care working with cancer patients.

 

 

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Time to Talk

Time to Talk

Mental health is thought to affect as many as one in four people yet many still believe it is not an illness.