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CERVICALCHECK LAUNCHES NATIONAL INFORMATION CAMPAIGN

CervicalCheck - The National Cervical Screening Programme became available to the 1.1 million eligible women aged 25-60 nationwide on 01 September 2008. Today (09 February 2009), the National Cancer Screening Service launches a national public information campaign encompassing television, outdoor, convenience and print advertising.

The aim of the first phase of the campaign is to raise awareness of the CervicalCheck brand, the availability of the service to eligible women aged 25-60 and to highlight the recommended screening intervals.

The creative concept demonstrates the subtle exterior changes a woman's appearance will experience over time, as she ages from 25 to 60. This exterior change reflects the potential inner changes a woman's body may be experiencing if there are pre-cancerous cervical cancer cells present.

Targeting women aged 25-60, the TV ad premieres on 11 February and will air in rotation across RTE 1, RTE 2, TV3, Living, Sky, MTV, E4, Paramount and 3e. Outdoor advertising begins nationwide on 09 February incorporating 48 sheets, 6 sheets, city lights and convenience advertising.

The public information campaign will be supported by a screening promotion team of eight members working closely with women's health and representative groups nationwide, providing information on cervical screening and the benefits to women.

Commenting on the campaign, Tony O’Brien, CEO of the National Cancer Screening Service said: “The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of the CervicalCheck programme, inform women of the benefits of regular screening and encourage them to avail of the service. The health arena is an often cluttered and confusing space and it is hoped this information campaign will effectively communicate the importance of screening and ultimately motivate women aged 25-60 to make an appointment for their free smear test.”

To date, CervicalCheck has registered 4,000 smeartakers (GPs, practice nurses and medical practitioners) in almost 1,400 locations nationwide. To have a free smear test, women should arrange an appointment with a smeartaker of their choice who is registered with CervicalCheck. Details of all registered smeartakers are available to women at www.cervicalcheck.ie or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

In line with best international practice, screening is provided every three years to women aged 25-44 and every five years to women aged 45-60. A successful national cervical screening programme in Ireland has the potential to cut current incidence rates by up to 80% per year.

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