Former Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn allowed cameras to accompany her to her smear test in a bid to raise awareness about cervical cancer.
This week marks Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and it is a cause close to Katie’s heart after she was involved in a heartbreaking, award-winning storyline that saw her character Sinead Tinker die from the disease on the ITV soap in October 2019.
‘Cervical screenings are the best way to protect against cervical cancer,’ Katie, 27, as she filmed herself heading to get her screening.
Ex Corrie star Katie McGlynn, 27, filmed herself having a smear test on Lorraine on Tuesday to raise awareness after her soap character Sinead Tinker died from cervical cancer
‘But many of us are still too shy, too scared, too embarrassed to go for our appointment. Well lucky for you, I am on my way to the hospital to get my smear test to prove to you all that there is nothing to worry about.’
Her doctor, Dr Sally Harris said: ‘ I think it is a brilliant thing that you are doing. There is a lot of misinformation out there that these type of procedures aren’t happening during the Covid crisis.
‘But actually, while it might be more to get your appointment it is still really important that you attend for your routine screening.’
Tragic: Coronation Street viewers were left sobbing in October 2019 when Sinead Tinker finally lost her battle with cancer
Goodbye Sinead: Heart-breaking scenes showed the character’s final day as she said her final goodbyes to her loved ones
The doctor told Katie that the procedure would be ‘a little bit uncomfortable’ but reassures her that ‘it doesn’t take very long.’
Speaking after the screening, Katie said: ‘It was really straightforward. I felt super comfortable with Dr Sally. I didn’t feel embarrassed.
‘Yeah there were some thoughts going through my head like, “Ooh, I’ve not shaved my legs” but all in all it was a pretty smooth experience.’
Speaking directly to viewers, Katie said: ‘Ladies, if any of you have had your cervical screening invitation, please make sure you go. It is so important. It could save your life. If I can do it, whilst filming it all, then I think you can too.’
Speaking after the screening, Katie told Lorraine: ‘It was really straightforward. I felt super comfortable with Dr Sally. I didn’t feel embarrassed’
Katie then joined Lorraine live to speak about the experience and the importance of smear tests.
She said: ‘I think a lot of women generally do get embarrassed… and I understand that but it is so quick that there is just no need to worry.
‘Even in the pandemic, if anything, I personally found it a little bit better because everybody had the mask on, there were measures in place, it felt more protected in a way.
‘I would strongly urge anyone who isn’t at high risk, who is able to go for the smear test, if they have the invitation, they should definitely go.
She added: ‘Even in the pandemic, if anything, I personally found it a little bit better because everybody had the mask on, there were measures in place, it felt more protected in a way’
WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
Cervical cancer affects the lining of the lower part of womb.
The most common symptom is unusual bleeding, such as between periods, during sex or after the menopause, but other signs can include:
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal discharge that smells
- Pain in the pelvis
Causes can include:
- Age – more than half of sufferers are under 45
- HPV infection – which affects most people at some point in their lives
- Smoking – responsible for 21 per cent of cases
- Contraceptive pill – linked to 10 per cent of cases
- Having children
- Family history of cervical or other types of cancer, like vagina
Source: Cancer Research UK
‘The embarrassment side really shouldn’t take over… the doctors see it day in day out… they are really not looking at the aesthetics, it’s a very clinical operation that is done in like two minutes. It’s not painful, it’s a little bit uncomfortable but it’s fine.’
Dr Hilary Jones then weighed in: ‘If you have had an abnormal smear in the past, it is vital that you go for that test… the GP surgeries will have Covid-19-free areas, PPE will be in place, you will be in there and out like a shot, and it is very very safe.’
Speaking about highlighting the issue on Coronation Street last year, Katie added: ‘I am so glad that we did it because I still get messages now from women that put off the smear test, they eventually went and they found cancerous cells…
‘It can save your life by going for a smear so it is so important. At the time we got a lot of messages from nurses saying that the uptake on screenings has massively risen, but because we are in a pandemic, we still need to get that message out there.
‘I sound like a broken record to my family and friends and on social media, but ladies, please go for the smear because it can save your life.’
Dr Hilary Jones said: ‘If you have had an abnormal smear in the past, it is vital that you go for that test… the GP surgeries will have Covid-19-free areas, PPE will be in place, you will be in there and out like a shot, and it is very very safe’