I would like to petition the Prime Minister to consider lowering the age for Cervical Smear testing from 25 to 20.
This is close to my heart as I lost my niece in 2010 to cervical cancer at the age of 23.
My niece, Maryanne Makepeace, had visited her doctor's on numerous occasions with the same problem, which was always treated as a water infection, even though tests were negative.
Alarm bells never rang, because they quite simply considered that at her age, she was not at risk.
The problem progressed, and after I insisted she go back, she finally managed to persuade her doctor to have tests at the Hospital.
She had the tests carried out and was given the devastating news that she had cervical cancer, at Stage 3 – too late for her.
Had the doctors taken her seriously at the beginning while still in the First Stage, she would have been caught with the cancer cells, and would still be here today, loving and caring for the two beautiful little girls that she has left behind.
This disease devastates lives and is ongoing. It has been 2 years now since the Jade Goody story and petition, and we are still not being heard. After the defeated Jade Goody campaign in 2009, the Government said they would urge GP’s to improve diagnosis of young women, by spotting symptoms at an earlier stage.
This has clearly not happened, Maryanne put her faith in her doctor, and was let down by the system. The Government needs to act now with a rigorous review of the current screening age. This cancer is brutal, and what really hurts is that Maryanne, and Jade, should still be here.
Regular tests are carried out in Wales and Scotland at the age of 20, we need to do something about changing the age in England to 20, before more families are torn apart with more girls losing their lives at such a young age.
Surely the best fight for this deadly disease is prevention of the cells taking hold?
Please, I urge you, sign my petition, and to the Prime Minister – please, please consider lowering the age of screening.