Expert Backs Calls For Change In Smear Test Age Limit

Family Of Young Woman Begin Campaign


Medical negligence specialists at Irwin Mitchell have backed calls for the age limit for smear tests to be lowered, after the family of a young woman who died of cervical cancer at 23 claimed that she was ignored and refused a smear test due to her age.

Mercedes Curnow was 20 when she first approached doctors with her concerns after suffering from symptoms related to the condition. However, her mother Sandra Cousins has outlined that experts only diagnosed the condition after she was taken to hospital in agony.

Ms Curnow passed away in December and now her mother is campaigning to have the age for smear tests reduced from its current limit of 25 to 20.

Julie Lewis, a Partner and clinical negligence expert at the firm’s Bristol office, is acting for the family of Ms Curnow in a claim against doctors who she believes missed the initial symptoms.

Commenting on the issue, she said: “It is absolutely vital that health professionals take complaints by the under-25s of red flag symptoms, for example inter-menstrual bleeding and bleeding after intercourse, very seriously.

“Just because cervical cancer is rare in the under-25s does not mean that it cannot occur. If a woman is complaining of these symptoms even if she is under 25 a smear test should be mandatory.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this terrible time.”