Bake Off star helps launch cervical screening campaign

Bake Off star Laura Adlington has teamed up with This Morning’s Dr Nighat Arif and four London NHS cancer alliances to launch a new cervical screening campaign. 

Dr Nighat Arif and Bake Off star Laura Adlington.The cancer alliances – including the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA) – have partnered with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to launch a media campaign to debunk the common misconceptions about cervical cancer and screening. The purpose is to encourage younger Londoners to attend their cervical screening appointment when invited.  

Cervical screening is offered to women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 to 64, and helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be passed through sexual contact. Certain types of the virus can cause abnormal cells to develop in the cervix, which can turn into cancer if left untreated.  

However, SELCA says that only 60% of 25 to 49-year-olds living in London currently attend their screening appointment. The attendance is significantly higher for 50 to 64-year-olds living in London at 72%. (Source: NHS Digital).   

The campaign, which coincided with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22 to 28 January), is being fronted by Laura Adlington and Dr Nighat Arif. The pair can be seen in video adverts discussing the link between sex and cervical cancer, and debunking the common misconceptions about cervical screening. The videos ads were streamed across the dating site Tinder, and social media platforms TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook over the course of last week. 

Members of the public who click on the ads will be directed to the campaign landing page here

Dr Nighat Arif says:

Cervical screening is the single most accurate way to detect HPV and very early cell changes at the cervix. Please attend your screening appointment when invited.

Sean McCloy, Managing Director of SELCA, adds:

We understand it can sometimes be difficult to attend a screening appointment for a variety of reasons including work and childcare commitments, anxiety, and misinformation surrounding the test. But these tests are vital; they can prevent cancer.

To learn more about the work of SELCA, visit its website here.