Lowering the smear test screening age

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I was browsing the Daily Mail website on my lunch break today, and the first article I saw was this article about lowering the smear test screening age. It's the story of Aimee Willett, a young woman of 26 years old and mother of two, who was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer after her first smear test.

Cervical cancer runs in my family and I also suffer from ovary problems, so I've long been concerned about having a smear test, and found myself eagerly anticipating the NHS branded letter dropping onto my door mat inviting me to have my bits touched by a coffee-breathed doctor with cold hands. (Not for those reasons I hasten to add). After all, girls are now being vaccinated against the HPV virus to prevent cervical cancer at the age of 12 or 13, so why wait so long for the screening for cancerous cells? 25 year olds are (mostly) very sexually active and have been for a long time and as the symptoms appear to go almost undetected until the disease is fairly advanced, as in Aimee Willett's case, I think that 25 is no longer an adequate age to have to wait. According to the NHS, cervical cancer in women under 25 is 'very rare', but by the time you reach 35, it is the second most common cancer in women.  Even after you've reached smear testing age, up until the age of 50 you only get retested every 3 years- after that it's every 5! If prevalent, think how much cancer can spread in this time. I understand budgets will play a huge part in this decision but you can't put a price on saving a life.

My heart bleeds for Aimee, who has to face this Christmas wondering whether it's going to be her last with her children and fiancee, something that could have been avoided had she been able to have a smear test earlier.

What do you think? Will you be joining Aimee's campaign to lower the smear test screening age?
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