A WOMAN who was denied a smear test because she was under 25 ended up needing surgery to remove part of her cervix.
The 22-year-old from Adeyfield went to see her GP on two occasions last September but was rebuffed each time because of NHS rules that say under-25s do not get screened.
It was only when her partner’s mother went with her and refused to leave that she was referred to a specialist.
Once at St Albans City Hospital cancerous cells were discovered and she was rushed in for emergency surgery in October.
“I was refused a smear test. I had abnormal bleeding and I was very uncomfortable,” she said.
“If I had waited until I was 25 I would’ve had full-blown cervical cancer.”
The mother of two young children does not wish to be named but wants to warn other women of the importance of getting screened.
Last week was Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which aims to cut the 900 women a year who die from the disease.
“I had every single symptom. I was tired and run down. My mum had it young,” she said.
“They sent me to see a nurse. I came out of there in tears because I didn’t get anywhere. I was frightened.
“I could’ve been one of the 900.
“I’m very lucky. I urge people to go and get their smear.
“I just want people to know if you have anything wrong, push hard.
“You really need to get yourself checked.”
All women aged between 25 and 64 are eligible for a free check every three to five years.
Health chiefs say screening saves around 4,500 lives in England each year.