Irish Woman Diagnosed with Cervical Cancer at 24 Spreads Awareness About Symptoms
An Irish woman has shared her experience of cervical cancer in order to spread awareness about it.
Heather Keating from Cashel, Co. Tipperary, was diagnosed at the age of 24, one year before she was entitled to a free smear test.
She explained that "because I was 24 I was not entitled to a free smear and the early cell changes in my cervix were not picked up."
Luckily for Heather, she pushed the issue when she felt something wasn't right and her cancer was found before it spread from her cervix.
She had surgery to remove the cancerous mass and is now cancer free.
In a Facebook post that has been shared by many, Heather highlights the symptoms in order to educate others.
She wrote: "That was the most dramatic emotionally painful experience of my life and no one should ever have to go through it. So with your help I want to share my story so that there is more awareness around cervix cancer.
"If your over 25 please go for your smear tests make time for it! They are so important. I wish I had the opportunity to have caught the cell changes before it became cancerous.
"If you are under 25 and feel something is not right please go and get it check out with your GP [sic]."
According to her post, symptoms include: abnormal bleeding between periods, after sex and after menopause. Other signs are heavy or longer periods, foul smelling discharge and pain or discomfort in the pelvis or during sex.
Heather added: "The more this is shared the more awareness it will create and hopefully more people will have caught it in time or before it even begins!"
You can read the full post here. For more information and cancer support services, click here. You can also find out about how to arrange a smear test and the National Cervical Screening Programme here.