St Helens Woman Reveals Impact Disease Has Had On Life As She Backs Major Awareness Campaign
A mum-of-three diagnosed with cervical cancer is seeking answers as she supports a major awareness campaign.
Vicky was diagnosed with the disease three years after a routine smear test was classed as negative before being upgraded to showing high grade severe cell changes.
She was initially due to undergo a hysterectomy to remove her cancer. However, after scans showed that the cancer had spread, she was told she was unable to have surgery.
She underwent five cycles of chemotherapy, 25 cycles of radiotherapy and three cycles of brachytherapy, where radiation is temporarily inserted into the body near to the cancer. She has been unable to return to work because of the effects of her treatment.
Following her diagnosis, Vicky agreed to an independent review of her previous smear tests. This showed that a test carried out in August 2016 and analysed by a Hospital Trust was initially classed as negative. However, an audit of that test result was deemed a false negative with results showing abnormal cells.
Liverpool medical negligence lawyers investigate cancer diagnosis
Vicky, has now instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Liverpool office to investigate her care and whether more could have been done to diagnose her cancer sooner.
With investigations ongoing Vicky, has joined her legal team in supporting Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Expert Opinion“The last few years and coming to terms with her diagnosis and its impact has been incredibly difficult for Vicky and the rest of her family.
“Understandably she has a number of questions about her diagnosis and we’re now investigating these to provide her with the answers she deserves.
“Through our work we sadly see the impact that cervical cancer can have. Vicky hopes that by sharing her story she can help others be aware of the symptoms. While Vicky has concerns about how her test results were recorded, it’s vital that women continue to take part in the screening programme.
“In the meantime we continue to support Vicky and join her in supporting this incredibly important campaign. Early detection and treatment are key to beating cancer.” Margaret Ryan
Cervical cancer: Vicky's story
After previously attending regular smear test appointments, Vicky attended a smear test appointment in August 2016 but was not informed of any concerns re the result.
In 2019 Vicky started to experience very heavy and painful periods which could last several weeks.
In March 2019 she underwent a scan; following which she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Following cervical cancer treatment Vicky says she has been left in pain. She suffers from hip pain, bowel problems and fatigue.
St Helens mum reveals impact cancer has had on life
Vicky, who remains under the care of oncologists, said: “It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe what the last few years have been like.
“I started suffering with really bad periods. I was in that much pain that sometimes I struggled to leave the house.
“I knew something wasn’t quite right but nothing prepared me for the news that I had cervical cancer. Hearing those words knocked me for six.
“The treatment, particularly while trying to come to terms with my diagnosis was difficult, not just physically but emotionally.
“While I’ve been told there is no sign of my cervical cancer the effects of the treatment still live with me. I struggle with fatigue and I’m tired all the time. My hip pain is that bad that I need crutches to walk and I had to swap my car for an automatic as I couldn’t change gear. I can’t even go shopping to the supermarket on my own as I can’t push a trolley.
“My diagnosis was hard enough to take, but then to be told that a review of my smear tests had found that there were in fact abnormalities in 2016, that were missed, was even more upsetting.
“I’m devastated and angry at what had happened. While I know I can’t turn back the clock I feel that the least I deserve is answers.
“I just hope that by speaking out I can help raise awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer.”
Cervical Cancer Prevention Weeks runs from 23-29 January and is organised by the charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. More information can be found on the Jo's Trust website.