Cancer Is a Real Risk, but 21-Year-Old Is Driving Denied Test Which Could Save Her Life Join; MOTHER IS DYING AND NIECES' CELLS SHOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF DISEASE

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), January 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

Cancer Is a Real Risk, but 21-Year-Old Is Driving Denied Test Which Could Save Her Life Join; MOTHER IS DYING AND NIECES' CELLS SHOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF DISEASE


Byline: HELEN RAE

HER mum is dying of cancer and her sister and two nieces have pre-cancerous cells.

But Vicky Cartwright is being denied the test which could potentially save her life.

Her mum Jacqueline, 55, has been battling cervical cancer, which has spread to her pelvis and uterus and is now classed as terminal.

Three other members of her family were found to have pre-cancerous cells, indicators of the first stages of cancer, after a smear s test.

But Vicky, 21, cannot have the test, as women under 25 in England are barred from cervical smears.

Volunteer youth worker Vicky, who has a three-year-old son, Jake, said: "I think women of my age should be allowed to have a smear test if they want one.

"I would certainly take up the option to be screened, particularly as I have had a son. It's ridiculous money is spent on cosmetic surgery procedures, yet Government will not fund younger people's option of cervical cancer screening."

Despite undergoing gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and the need for a major operation later this month to remove a tumour, Vicky's mum Jacqueline is carrying on in the knowledge her time is limited. But the mum-of-three is urging Government to drop the minimum age for cervical cancer smears as there could be a family history of the disease. She is keen for Vicky to be screened, as she has recently been suffering abdominal pains.

The former North Tyneside General Hospital nurse and grandmother-of-one, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, said: "I know first-hand the devastating

consequences of cervical cancer and I believe the age limit for screening should be lowered.

"There is a potential the cancer I have could be genetic and I feel it's essential my youngest daughter is screened.

"But, under current guidelines, she won't be eligible until she is 25, in which time a lot could happen in four years. …

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