Promoting Awareness for Cervical Screenings with Syeda Nudrat
Published: 27 February 2023 to 31 December 2098
Syeda Nudrat is a Cancer Champion with the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance and started working for our Trust in September 2022 as an Improvement Project Lead through the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme.
We wanted to learn more about the brilliant work Syeda has been doing and why she continues to dedicate herself to promoting awareness of cancer throughout her career.
Following partnership working with the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, Syeda shared her story, and it has since become an important case study used for Cervical Screening Awareness Week, and is used by NHS England for wider communications on cervical cancer screening awareness.
In recent weeks, Syeda’s story in relation to cervical cancer screening procedures has been featured in an article for the ‘The Guardian’. She spoke about dealing with tragedy and the good work she is doing now to promote awareness and simplify the message for other people.
We take tremendous pride in working with people like Syeda, who use their unique lived experiences to benefit their colleagues and our current and future service users.
We’d like to thank Syeda for coming forward and trying to empower others to do the same, to know that you’re not alone and support is out there if you have any questions or concerns about cancer.
“I sadly lost my auntie to cancer, who was more like a mum to me, not knowing what to expect and how to cope with this tragedy. I was very keen to educate myself on this and learn all about cancer, and decided to take the Cancer Champions training course, which is a two-day online course through the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance.
The Cancer Alliance Champions training was the best thing that I signed up to. It explained the topics so simply and clearly. Since then, I use my knowledge to help provide an ear to those who are suffering in silence and not sharing with others. Through WhatsApp groups and other social groups, I spread the word trying to normalise details of cervical screening tests and to encourage discussion around women’s health issues in general.
But it was even before losing my auntie that I was fearful of cancer and getting the smear test done. I was ignoring the cervical screening invites as I was not taking it seriously because of the medicalised nature of it, and I was thinking that it is not necessary, given in my Pakistani culture, it’s not actively encouraged or even discussed openly.
There are myths around it that relate to people with multiple partners and with STDs & STIs. In my experience, people rarely, if at all, discuss menstruation and pregnancy in any kind of detail.
I’d also say that watching animated videos on YouTube about the cervical screening test can help understand the process and for me it made it look like a simple procedure. Whereas previously I thought of it as an operation before I got any understanding of the test.
The cervical screening/smear test is a very easy and quick procedure. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all for me personally, and I was looked after by a nice friendly nurse, with the whole procedure lasting about 5 minutes.
I hope this will give peace of mind to everyone that everything is alright, and it is the best way to protect us from cervical cancer if there is an issue. Educating myself on this topic and becoming a Cancer Champion has helped me feel empowered. I now look at women’s health from a broader perspective and realise that, regardless of background or culture, we all have the same health issues, and we all need to take the same steps and precautionary measures to look after ourselves.
I encourage everyone to be proactive about looking after their health and wellbeing because they are an important member of our society and their health matters.”
If you would like to follow and contact Syeda, you can follow her on Twitter here.
To read the article Syeda featured in for ‘The Guardian’, please visit: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/jan/23/cervical-cancer-record-number-women-england-not-screened
To learn more about Cervical Cancer and the Cervical Screening tests, please visit: Cervical cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK
To find out more about the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance and how you can become a ‘Cancer Champion’, please visit: https://hnycanceralliance.org.uk/cancerchampions/
We wanted to learn more about the brilliant work Syeda has been doing and why she continues to dedicate herself to promoting awareness of cancer throughout her career...