Mum's smear test warning after low take-up of invitations among women in 20s

Jasmine Carter. 27, pictured with fiancé Grant Salisbury, are due to get married in October this year. 

Jasmine and Grant Salisbury - Credit: Jasmine Carter

A mum-of-two, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer, is urging young women to have a screening test following concerns about a low take up of invitations for checks.

Jasmine Salisbury, 28, who lives in Hadleigh, was featured in the EADT in January last year when she said she wished she had seen someone sooner after symptoms started to show in February 2019.

This week, Dr Linda Mahon-Daly, a GP in north east Essex, said those in their 20s and those who have been through the menopause were not taking up their invitations for screening, known as a ‘smear test'.

Mrs Salisbury said: “It's really worrying to hear that the cervical screening uptake has fallen. From speaking to others, I know that some have not attended their appointment due to concerns about COVID and others are too embarrassed or nervous. 

Jasmine Carter, 27,

Jasmine Carter, 27, was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 25 and is determined to raise awareness of the symptoms. She wants to show young girls that smear tests are nothing to be afraid of. - Credit: Jasmine Carter

“I cannot stress the importance of having a screening enough, it will check for any abnormal cells which, if found early enough, can be easily treated."

The former support worker was reluctant to see a doctor because she did not want to be examined while bleeding; a decision she regretted.

Fortunately, the cancer was still at a treatable stage and she was given the all clear in April 2020 after months of intensive treatment.

Most Read

Dr Mahon-Daly said: “The screening itself, also known as a smear test, checks for any abnormal cell changes in the cervix. It’s important to note that these changes don’t cause any symptoms, so you have no way of knowing abnormal cells are present if you’re not screened.

“Often these changes improve naturally, but sometimes they need treatment because there is a risk they may develop into cancer. Treatment at this early, pre-cancerous stage is simple and quick and entails a short hospital outpatient appointment to remove abnormal cells and rule out any likelihood they could turn into cervical cancer.”

Next week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, from 17-23 January, which aims to raise awareness of what actions can be taken to avoid developing a highly preventable cancer.

For more information about cervical cancer screening and symptoms of cervical cancer, visit www.jotrust.org.uk or www.macmillan.org.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter