Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing.
1 in 4 Women do not attend their appointments, dropping to 1 in 3 between the ages of 25 and 29
Around 3000 women (in the UK) are diagnosed with cervical cancer EVERY YEAR
Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer is women 35 and under
* Stats taken from www.jostrust.org.uk
This is a condensed version of events, dates might be a little off as I am going off my memory and I have had two children since these events occurred*
*My memory is shot to pieces
I was 26 when I had my second born, Zachary. He was my first (and out of the four would be my only) vaginal delivery. His birth was perfect. After a few months I was in need of contraception.
After a few discussions with my GP. I decided on the Coil/IUD. I booked an appointment with the nurse and came and got my coil fitted. The nurse said to me. I see you haven’t had a smear test. Can I do one now? I said OK, there wasn’t really any reason to say no.
I will always be eternally grateful to that nurse. I got my results a few weeks later. There were abnormalities. I had to go to see a specialist. I had grade 3, CIN. In simple turns the changes in my cells were classed as severe cell changes.
I had to have a Colposcopy which is a posh name for a more in-depth look. I ended up having a biopsy and having my affected cells burnt away. I do not remember the procedure being painful. I was told that the changes in my cells from the initial testing to here were rapid. They believed had I not been seen so quickly given another 3-5 weeks I would have been in the early stages of cancer.
Wow. Imagine if that nurse hadn’t done my smear, my life could have been so different. I potentially owed life and the subsequent two children I went on to have to her and the NHS. I was placed on yearly screenings, for three years but am now on a 3 yearly schedule now.
In all honesty I am now able to carry on with my life and put that blip behind me, but I pay a little extra attention to why is going on down their. The #smearforsmear campaign is fantastic, but will only work if woman actually attend their appointments.
What can YOU do
* Check when your last smear was
* Book and attend your appointment
* Ask your Mum/Nan/Best Friend when. they last had a smear
* Share you own #smearforsmear pic and/or message.
I really hope this story has got you wanting to put your embarrassment and/or fear behind you and get tested. Or given you the confidence to talk to your girlfriends about it. A simple chat and a simple test could save someone’s life.
Thanks for reading
Much love and many thanks