Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sophie's Choice Petition & Why I'm supporting The Smear Test Campaign

If you read the papers, i'm sure you will have seen the story about Sophie Jones who died recently from cervical cancer at the ridiculously young age of 19. She was complaining of severe abdominal pain and was suffering all the symptoms related to cervical cancer yet doctors refused her a smear test and passed the pain off as Chrohn's disease. Then when the cancer was discovered, it was too late for her.

Last picture of Sophie Jones

 This story has upset and angered me as i have my own story with regards to smear tests and cancer which i am now happy to share with the world.

In June 2011 i turned 25 and was asked to attend my first smear test. My mum was adamant about me attending so i made an appointment as soon as i got the letter. Luckily i have a good relationship with my practice nurse who i can honestly class as a friend and i was pleased she was carrying out the smear test as it made it feel a lot more at ease. The test itself was relatively harmless and all i felt was a small amount of pressure and that was it, job done!

A few weeks later while at work, my mum rang me saying that a letter had arrived from the NHS and asked if she should open it. She did and we discovered that abnormal cells had been found on my cervix and i would have to go to hospital to have a Colposcopy. This is basically a more thorough exam where they look at the cervix more closely. I admit i was freaked out but i spoke to my sister who had to go through a similar procedure and she discovered she was absolutely fine so again the appointment was made and i attended. 

This time it was a lot more uncomfortable. I was in a large room with a male doctor carrying out the procedure and 2 female nurses on either side of me trying to take my mind off what was going on ( it didn't work ). The doctor decided to take a biopsy from my cervix and send it off for testing. When i received the results, i discovered that i had CIN II which meant the abnormalities on my cervix were pre cancerous. I was terrified. CIN II meant that two thirds of the thickness of the lining were covered in abnormal cells.

The treatment i had to undertake was called a loop diathermy which is when they laser remove the cells from the cervix with a loop of wire. I had to have a local anaesthetic down there which frankly was the most painful part of the while procedure. I also had a medical student overlooking the procedure and the 2 nurses from before holding my hands and talking to me about my daughter and my tattoos. I appreciate they were there to keep my mind off what was happening down there but again it didn't work.

It was an anxious wait for the results to see if the cells had gone but thankfully when that letter arrived in the post, i was given the all clear and told to come back in 2015.


I'm one of the lucky ones. If i hadn't of gone to that very first smear test, i may not be here today and that scares me like you wouldn't believe. But even though i'm greatful to have my life, many young women are being diagnosed with this deadly strain of cancer and all because the government will not lower the age for cervical screening, it's time to make a change.

Please visit  http://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62385  
and sign the petition to lower the smear test to 16.

Lowering the age from 25 to 16 could save so many lives, we can't let anymore cases like Sophie's happen. 
 
It only takes 2 minutes to sign this petition, everyone has 2 minutes to spare. 

Thankyou <3

Sophie


 ** Photo's courtesy of Daily Mail **

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