Cervical cancer survivor from Worksop fears changing screening times could see further deaths

A cervical cancer survivor from Worksop who had to undergo a full hysterectomy is campaigning against plans to reduce how often screenings take place.

Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 9:00 am

Victoria Hopkinson was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 after putting off her smear test appointment by a year.

The mum-of-three has stressed the importance of regular check-ups and maintains her cancer diagnosis could have been prevented if she had attended screening.

At the moment cervical screenings are offered to women aged 25 to 49 every three years in England - but this could soon change. The UK National Screening Committee has recommended a change to the frequency of cervical screening from three to five years.

Vicki's "Right to Fight" Campaign on Facebook

Scotland and Wales are the first to implement the new intervals.

Cervical screening looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause abnormal cells in the cervix, which can then lead to cancer if not treated.

According to Cancer Research UK, the extension from three to five years between screening has been recommended because the test used in cervical screening has changed.

This additional two years between screening could also potentially see missed diagnosis and further deaths from cervical cancer.

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Victoria has urged women to get checked regularly, and is raising further awareness through her campaign ‘Vicki’s Right to Fight’.

She is also campaigning to lower the age for cervical screening to begin.

Victoria said: “Screening should remain at three years and not change to five.

"The Government should stop trying to play god with people's lives and the age should be dropped to 18.

"I was 24 when I had a smear test. I missed my appointment by one year and got told I had cervical cancer 1b1.

"If there was to be a change I would have been 29 having a smear and I would not be here today.

“Women are waiting longer these days before starting families and the average age now is 31.

"If women attend their first screening at 25 they could be told they have cancer before 30 and this would have a devastating effect especially to those who have no children.

"I was lucky I already had three children by the age of 23.”

Victoria added: “I am one person standing for millions who need to be heard.

"We must carry on getting regular tests, look out for cervical cancer symptoms and try to save as many lives as possible”.

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