Scarlett Moffatt urged fans to get regular smear tests, after revealing she may have to get abnormal cells removed following a cervical cancer scare.
The Gogglebox star told presenter Christine Lampard that she may have to have abnormal cells removed from her cervix following the discovery.
Doctors found the abnormal cells during a smear test last September, leading Scarlett to need testing every six months.
Opening up to Christine, who is filling in for Lorraine over the summer, Scarlett said, “My journey is that I had abnormal cells, I have to go every six months rather than every three years.”
“If they haven’t removed themselves by the next appointment, I will have to get them removed. If I hadn’t went, I don’t know what situation I would have been in.”
Scarlett then assured viewers that the consequences of not getting tested are much worse than the test itself. “There’s stigma around it being scary, but it’s none of that,” she said.
Scarlett outlined the things women can do to make a smear test more comfortable.
“A lot of people don’t know you can request a woman to do the procedure. You can ask them to insert a smaller object too,” she said.
“My friends thought it was just to test cervical cancer, but it’s to also prevent cancer. You get asked to go when you’re 24 and a half, so maybe you haven’t had anyone look at that area.”
She added, “You don’t have to feel embarrassed.”
Scarlett also opened up about her own first smear test. “It is just the unknown. I remember not being as scared as one of my friends was a little bit older so told me about it,” she said. “But now you can watch videos on YouTube and book a double session if you’re really nervous.”
Around 3,200 UK women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. But symptoms can go undiagnosed because women are missing regular smear tests.
A survey carried out last year by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust last year found that in some areas of the UK smear test attendance is as low as one in two among young women. The survey of around 2,000 women aged 25-35 also found that a primary reason for these missed smear tests was embarrassment.