A 22-year-old woman died of cervical cancer after GPs sent her away 15 times and told her not to worry about the “Jade Goody effect”.Emma Swain had begged her GP for a smear test after she experienced symptoms but was told by medical professionals that she was too young.
Emma’s doctors instead blamed her contraceptive pill for the symptoms she experienced and told her that what happened to Jade Goody was unlikely to happen to her.
In 2009, TV personality Jade Goody died from cervical cancer aged just 27.
RELATED: World first cervical cancer ‘cure’ found in university study
Emma first asked her doctor for a smear test in May 2013 after experiencing back pain and bleeding after sex.
But her request was refused by her doctor because the cervical screening is only offered to women over the age of 25.
Her GP has since admitted that if the 22-year-old had been given the smear test, she may still be alive.
Devastated at the loss of his daughter, Darren Swain told the Mirror: “To have watched one of your children go through that and to know it could have been ­prevented is ­incredibly hard to ­accept.
“We trusted these people – the professionals – to know what they were doing. I’ll never forgive them.”
Darren, 51, said: “Basically, he told her she was worrying over nothing. He couldn’t have been more wrong. It cost Emma her life.”
Over the next four months Emma contacted her doctor 14 times but was advised to swap her brand of contraceptive pill.
She changed her pill five times during those four months.
However, Emma was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December of that year and died the following year in 2014.
After a six-year legal battle Emma’s family was awarded compensation over her death.
In a letter to the dad-of-three, Dr Stephen Golding, Dr Hendrik Parmentier and practice nurse Maureen Dillon from The Haling Park Partnership in Croydon, South London, apologised for what ­happened to Emma.
RELATED: Researchers say DIY test could detect cervical cancer
They wrote: “We admit that if the care and treatment provided to your daughter had been of a reasonable standard, on the balance of probabilities, she would have survived.”
A spokesperson for the surgery told the Mirror: “Since Emma’s death, the practice has reviewed its processes to ensure lessons have been learned.”
More than a million women could be at risk of cervical cancer after shunning their smear test, new figures reveal.
NHS stats show that 72.2 per cent attended their regular cervical screening in England in between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020.
It means more than 1.4 million women ignored their invite for the lifesaving test.
The latest data from NHS England shows that in total, 4.63 million women aged between 25 and 64 were offered a smear test during 2019-20.
But only 3.2 million attended their appointment – a drop of 6.8 per cent on the previous year.
The regional variation in those attending their smear test ranged from 64.7 per cent in London to 75.5 per cent in the North East.
Rutland in the East Midlands was the only place where more than 80 per cent of eligible women were tested.
It’s the first time a local authority has met or exceeded the cervical cancer screening target.
Kensington and Chelsea in London saw the fewest number attend their smear between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, at 49.8 per cent.
Nine women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day in the UK.
Early signs can include:
1. Abnormal bleeding (during or after sex, between periods and also post-menopause) period
The most common and earliest sign of cervical cancer tends to be irregular bleeding.
It happens when the cancer cells grow on the tissue below the cervix.
It‘s an especially alarming sign in postmenopausal women who no longer have periods. There’s no age limit to developing cervical cancer.
2. Unusual vaginal discharge
Everyone‘s discharge is different, so it’s a case of knowing what is normal for you.
If you find that the colour, smell and consistency has changed, then that‘s something you really need to have checked out.
When cancer lacks oxygen, it can cause an infection which leads to strange smelling discharge.
3. Discomfort or pain during sex
Pain during sex can be a sign of a number of different issues, but one is cervical cancer.
Because the disease often comes with no symptoms, pain during intercourse is one of the key indicators. It can be a sign that the cancer is spreading to surrounding tissues.
4. Lower back pain
It could be down to you straining something in the gym, or it could be a warning sign that something‘s wrong with your reproductive organs.
Persistent pain – just one off twinges – in the lower back, pelvis or appendix can be a symptom of cervical cancer.
5. Unintended weight loss
While effortless weight loss might sound like the answer to many of our prayers, it‘s never a good sign if it happens seemingly without cause.
A loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss tend to be signs that the body isn‘t working properly – it’s trying to conserve energy. If you notice that you’re not eating as you normally do, go to your GP
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission