TWO cancer surgeons have helped raise over £10,000 for charity after taking part in a gruelling 250km bike ride between Conwy and Cardiff castles.

Simon Leeson and Richard Peevor from the North Wales Gynaecological Cancer Surgical Centre at Ysbyty Gwynedd, were part of an eight-strong team of doctors who have raised £10,223.43 towards Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust with their castle-to-castle ride during April.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The funds raised will be used to support cervical cancer patients, including vital research into why one in five women still fail to attend for their smear test.

Mr Leeson, a consultant gynaecologist and oncologist, says the work Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust carries out is vital in encouraging women to come forward to attend their screening appointments.

He said: “Throughout the UK, cervical screening saves 5,000 lives every year. There are around 3,000 new diagnoses of cervical cancer every year and this figure would be 5,000 higher if we didn’t have the cervical cancer screening programme.

“Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35 in the UK and the 12th most common cancer in women overall.

“Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust brings a patient’s perspective into the screening process and can provide insight into the way patients react to certain aspects of the programme to help us to improve and develop the screening service. As a charity, they are the patient’s advocate.”

The surgeons received huge support from their colleagues and also received a donation of £500 from Conwy Council. The cycle ride was challenging and there were a few injuries on the way but all in all it was a huge success and lots of fun.

“We are extremely grateful to those who have donated, in particular to Margaret Williams from Llandudno Hospital who raised almost £2,000 for us, which is fantastic,” added Mr Leeson.

Public Health Wales has launched its fifth annual ‘Screening for Life’ campaign to raise awareness of the free national screening programmes offered by the NHS.

Cervical Screening Wales is calling on younger women who have been for a smear test to talk to their older relatives or friends about the importance of attending for their screening.

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