This project will establish the policies that have been developed in the UK to prevent cervical cancer among adult women and the measure taken to improve the health and well-being of women diagnosed with the disease. The research is informed by the need for extensive research to establish the specific policies have been developed in the UK to prevent cervical cancer among adult women besides measures that are taken to improve the health and well-being of women once diagnosed with the disease.
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The terms cervical cancer and aged women will be used. For the sake of this study, the policies to be examined are those developed by the government through its healthcare agency concerned with cervical cancer management. The project will endorse the definition by the UK government of an adult woman as a female person beyond the age of 21 years. This chapter will review the research background and rationale, research objectives and aims, research literature search strategy, and primary ethical considerations during the research.
Rationale and Background
In the last three decades, cervical cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention have developed in the UK as the government become more proactive in addressing this health concern. Before the year 1987, more than 70% of all cervical cancer diagnosis eventually resulted in death due to the treatment-based approach at that time. As a result of improved methods of diagnosis and treatment, in terms of research-based approaches, the government of the UK has developed a series of policies that are designed to prevent cervical cancer among adult women.
For instance, among the 3,200 new cervical cancer cases in the year 2011, 83% of the aged women diagnosed have survived for more than two years as compared to only 38% survival rate before the year 2008 (Carrieri & Bilger 2013). The high survival rate can be attributed to several measures that have been taken to improve the health and well-being of women once diagnosed with cervical cancer (Majeed 2009).
For instance, in 1987, the UK government remodelled the cervical cancer diagnosis strategy to incorporate preventive care through the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. In the year 2008, the government introduced free cervical cancer screening clinics across the UK. As a result, the survival rate improved drastically from an average of 38% to well over 63% for more than five years and 83% for more than two years.
In the UK, the government and other agencies have been proactive in developing policies to aid in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention mechanisms. From the year 1987, the rate of cervical cancer diagnosis has reduced by 70% following the establishment of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. Besides, the survival rate has also increased from 38% in the year 1987 to 83% (two years and more) and 63% (five years and more) by the end of the year 2011 (Carrieri & Bilger 2013).
The first policy is the NHS Cervical Screening Programme which is under the Population Screening Programme in 1987. Under this policy, adult women are encouraged to go for free cervical cancer screening in the government-owned hospitals across the UK and is currently available to all women within the age of 25 and 64 years. The National Screening Committee is mandated with the duty of assessing the success of the cancer screening services on behalf of the government.
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The main screening tests offered under the policy include cervical cytology and human papillomavirus. According to Carrieri and Bilger (2013), “cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating abnormalities of the cervix” (p. 245). In relation to the screening policy, the above testing methods are meant to examine the adult women in terms of their level of exposure to cervical cancer as a preventive strategy, since early detection might result in effective treatment and complete recovery of the patient. The second policy for treating preventing cervical cancer is the Cervical Cancer Vaccination Programme.
This program is also managed by the NHS and implemented with a vaccine called the Gardasil, which “protects against four types of HPV, including the two strains responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancers in the UK” (Sabates & Feinstein 2006, p. 3008).
The third policy in managing cervical cancer among adult women is the Stop Smoking Service managed by the NHS agency in the UK. Under this policy, women are encouraged to adopt positive lifestyle behaviours such as quitting smoking since this habit is known to increase the chances of contracting cervical cancer (Rodvall et al. 2009). Thus, it is important to examine these policies and measures that have been put in place to manage cervical cancer in the UK. The government agencies and other parties involved in cervical cancer management will use the findings of the research to improve on the current policies and other measures designed to manage cervical cancer among adult women in the UK.
Aims and Objectives
- To analyse the UK health policies to understand the current cervical cancer policies in order to assess challenges that exist for adult women affected by the disease.
- To examine policies that have been in the UK to prevent cervical cancer among adult women.
- To determine the available measures aimed at improving the health and well-being of women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- To determine the impact of a cervical cancer diagnosis on women.
From the above aim and objectives, the following research questions were generated to effectively establish the policies and measures applied in the UK in managing cervical cancer among adult women. The research questions are:
- What policies have been developed in the UK to prevent cervical cancer among adult women?
- What measures are taken to improve the health and well-being of women once diagnosed with the disease?
Literature search strategy
The literature review will be based on past case study researches, nursing journals, academic books, and online UK-based nursing websites. These sites are authentic since most of the materials in them are from reputable organizations. The academic journals to be used in this research paper will be selected from academic and authentic healthcare sites such as PubMed, Scopus, and CancerCare, among others. The sources to be used in the paper will be more than ten from academic journals and other sources such as books, pamphlets, past reports, and authentic websites.
The keywords in the literature search are Healthcare policy, cervical cancer, preventive care, healthy people 2020, NSC, diagnosis, screening, and integrated intervention model. The keywords are defined below.
- Cervical cancer: This is a cancer of the cervix;
- Diagnosis: The process of screening for cervical cancer and designing appropriate treatment or prevention strategy;
- Health care policy: Different government frameworks on treatment or management of cervical cancer;
- Preventive care: The actions rolled out by relevant agencies to promote strategies that might minimise the occurrence of cervical cancer;
- Healthy people 2020: This is a health measurement indicator;
- NSC: National Screening Committee mandated by the UK government to manage different cervical cancer prevention policies;
- Screening: The process of examining a patient to establish whether there are cancerous cells or not;
- Integrated intervention model: A model for assessing the efficiency of the intervention policies and approaches to addressing cervical cancer concern among adult women.
In order to narrow the literature search, the researcher will avoid the word such as and, or, is, and insert the words the UK, cervical cancer, and adult women in all searches to capture existing data within the UK.
Ethical and anti-oppressive consideration
Adoption of different policies on prevention and diagnosis of cervical cancer among adult women has the benefit of promoting healthy living for the greater good of the families in the UK. However, competing interests and limited budget allocation has limited the implementation of different policies promoting healthy living among adult women.
In the implementation of different policies and measures on cervical cancer within the UK, the government has strict rules dictating the number of screening necessary each year and fair distribution of intervention programs. However, limited resources and knowledge on the benefits of screening has compromised its effectiveness in the fight against cervical cancer.
Value diversity and human rights
The government of the UK has incorporated the aspect of the right to medical attention in the policies and measures designed to address cervical cancer concern among adult women. However, implementation of the right to medical care has not been developed fully because of the dynamic healthcare systems within the UK.
Social justice legislation
There are several laws and bills within the UK which define and facilitate the provision of different medical care plans for adult women suffering from cervical cancer. These bills have been incorporated in different Medicare plans across the UK to ensure that diagnosis and treatment are affordable. However, limited resources and dynamics of healthcare service delivery have made some of the laws ineffective.
The research will review the prevalence of cervical cancer among adult women, UK government policies in addressing cervical cancer, and successes or failures in the policies. The research will also explore existing theories on cervical cancer prevention/treatment in the UK.
The research will explore secondary data on the research topic and present findings.
Findings and analysis
The research will present the findings and offer scientific interpretation to establish any existing trend.
Recommendations and conclusion
The research will offer recommendations based on the analysis, followed by a subjective reflection of the entire research process. The research bibliography will be appended at the bottom of the research paper.
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This chapter has identified policies in the UK on cervical cancer prevention and management among adult women at the risk of contracting the disease. The background research indicates that there is need to increase the level of health education among this population to ensure that the current well-being strategies are inclusive and holistic (Wu 2008; Whynes, Philips, & Avis 2007). There is also need for unique skills on behavioural challenges, health policies, and interventions strategies, which should be carefully integrated into the unique adult women care environment to eliminate potential discontent (Carrieri & Bilger 2013; Moser, Patnick, & Beral 2009).
Carrieri, V & Bilger, M 2013, “Preventive care: underused even when free. Is there something else at work?” Applied Economics, vol. 45, no. 14, pp. 239–253.
Majeed, F 2009, “Using patient and general practice characteristics to explain variations in cervical smear uptake rates,” BMJ, vol. 308, no. 7, pp. 1272-1276.
Moser, K, Patnick, J & Beral, V 2009, “Inequalities in reported use of breast and cervical screening in Great Britain: analysis of cross sectional survey data”, BMJ, vol. 338, no. 2, pp. 2025-2034.
Rodvall, Y, Kemetli, L, Tishelman, C & Tornberg, S 2009, “Factors related to participation in a cervical cancer screening programme in urban Sweden,” Europe Journal of Cancer, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 459–466.
Sabates, R & Feinstein, L 2006, “The role of education in the uptake of preventative health care: the case of cervical screening in Britain,” Soc Sci Med, vol. 62, no. 5, pp. 2998–3010.
Whynes, D, Philips, Z & Avis, M 2007, “Why do women participate in the English cervical cancer screening programme”? Journal of Health Economics, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 306–325.
Wu, S 2008, “Sickness and preventive medical behavior,” Journal of Health Economics, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 675–689.