Once upon a time there was a beautiful teenage girl who had everything to live for and a bright future ahead.. Then she began to experience severe abdominal pain and irregular bleeding.. She was sensible and body conscious and went to her doctor immediately. Instead of living happily ever after she was sent home with growing pains and not given a smear test. This is not a fairy tale and this is a real girl. Her name is Kirstie Wilson. I had the great pleasure of meeting this strong wonderful human being on a cancer support site when I myself was fighting my own cancer demons. Kirstie, now in her early twenties, is fighting for her life! Her once possibly early stage cervical cancer, which could have been detected by a smear test on her first visit to her GP, has now spread to other major organs due to the failure of our 'trusted' health system.
What has shocked me to my core is that many young girls have in fact lost their lives due to similar negligence and are fast becoming household names in death rather than life as a shock factor to others and in an attempt to 'wake up' the people in charge of setting the standards for national screening procedures in the UK. Apparently (according to the people with power) lowering the national screening age causes more harm than good and that has grounds to justify the national screening age to be set at 25 as cervical cancer is not common enough in young girls to warrant change.
I am now 35 and can remember having my first screening in my late teens. I can not comprehend why that same service is not granted to girls of that age anymore. What's worse is that they go to their GP with serious telltale signs of the killer disease and are still refused a PAP smear!! Where is the justice? How many young girls have to suffer and worse still die before health officials wipe the blood from their hands and finally see sense?!
I would like to meet the powers that be, and if the backing of the thousands of petitioners didn't hold enough weight, I would like them to accompany my dear friend Kirstie to one of her heartbreaking hospital visits where she is hooked up to wires and cut to pieces and ask them.. Is this really necessary??!
If cost is the issue... What would a simple smear test cost in relation to the thousands of pounds in chemo/radio/extensive surgery?!
With HPV on the increase, and it's association with Cervical Cancer, vaccines may have helped reduce risks to younger girls. I would however like to highlight that both Kirstie and Jess Bradford were given the vaccine and still developed Cervical Cancer. Not all Cervical Cancer cases even test positive for HPV.
I would ask anyone reading this post, who hasn't already, support the petitions which are circulating and do your part in contributing to reducing the national screening age from 25. If you have a daughter, sister, friend, family member, anyone you care about... The fact is that cancer does not discriminate and age is not a boundary... There are many cancers which threaten us but with Cervical WE CAN PREVENT.. (and from experience..) Prevention is way better than the cure!!
I would like to dedicate this post to some girls for whom I have absolute respect and am in awe of their pure strength and determination.. Kirsty Wilson, Jess Bradford.. You rock completely..
In loving memory of just some of the beautiful brave fighters who are remembered so dearly and had so much to live for.. Sorcha Glenn, Dawn Weston, Sophie Jones, Jess Evans, Faye Knowles-Chapman, Rebecca Screen, Keely Devine, Becky Ryder, Adela Waters.. Gone too soon but never forgotten.
To support the fight to lower the current minimum screening age please visit... https://www.change.org/p/government-bring-down-the-age-of-smears-to-18?recruiter=90187496&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&fb_ref=Default&fb_source=message