LISTEN: "It Was the Worst Day of My Life" Dorset Woman Urges Women to Take Up Cancer Check
8:03am 14th June 2014
A woman from Dorset who survived cervical cancer is urging more women to get checked for early signs of the disease.
Lindsay Case was told she had some pre-cancerous cells following a smear test in January 2008. At the age of 25, she was ready to undergo treatment to cut away the abnormal cells that could become harmful.
Soon after she found out she was pregnant.
Experts advised her to go ahead with the pregnancy, and her treatment would be delayed until after the birth as long as she went back every 8 weeks for check-ups.
Two days before Christmas 2008 and Lindsay’s first child Melanie Louise was born into the world.
During her pregnancy Lindsay missed an appointment at the gynaecology unit following some devastating news and more heartache in her personal life.
In March 2009, she had a follow up biopsy and repeat smear ready for her treatment to go ahead on pre-cancerous cells that were discovered a year earlier. Soon after the test she was told that my cervical cells had turned cancerous:
Lindsay has a hysterectomy to remove her womb and she's now clear of cancer and living a healthy life.
Each year around five million women in the UK are invited for cervical screening (smear test). Findings in a new report have found a worrying trend of women not turning up for screenings and the latest figures show a steady increase in "non-attenders."
UK charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust say the numbers of UK women attending cervical screening are falling year on year with an annual uptake of 78.3%2 across all eligible age groups in England - that's down 5% on 1998.
In Dorset, 70.8% of women between 25 and 29 are attending Cervical Cancer screenings, that's less than the national avergae by close to 10%.
Around 3 women in the UK die each day from cervical cancer, with someone diagnosed every 3 hours.
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: "Cervical cancer is an unusual cancer because it can often be prevented, yet the numbers of women being diagnosed has reached its highest level since 1999, which would seem to directly correlate with the downward trend in screening uptake."
"If screening uptake continues to fall this will lead to a rise in the number of women being told they have cervical cancer."
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is calling for more investment in targeted awareness campaigns calling on women to take up screenings and get checked out.
Dorset Mum Lindsay told us it's absolutely vital women attend tests ... There's nothing to worry about:
"It's so important, if you're in a position like myself where you have a family and people who care about you, and you want to be around them and raise your children, for an appointment that takes 10 to 15 minutes at the most, I didn’t find it uncomfortable or painful, a lot of women think it's painful. It's so important!
This type of cancer is becoming more and more common and in women my age too."
If you want to learn more about Cervical Cancer and understand more about advice and screenings, click here or call Jo's Trust on 0808 802 8000.
You can listen to Wessex FM's Luke de Costa's full interview with Lindsay below.