A cancer survivor is calling for a lower cervical screening age after being diagnosed with the disease when she was just 25.
Rebecca Carroll asked her doctor for a smear test when she was 23 but was told the earliest age was 25.
She went for her first test last July and to her horror was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
She said: “When I got my results the nurse told me I had one of the worst cases she had seen. It didn’t seem real.” Rebecca had surgery at St James’s Hospital in Leeds but was readmitted with a severe blood infection.
After she was discharged she became depressed but said her friends and family helped her through it. On January 4 she went back to work, at Ashworth Grange care home, Dewsbury. She had only got the job three days before her diagnosis – but the home kept her on.
She said: “It all seems like a bad dream. I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through so young. If I’d had my smear at 23 I probably would never have gone through this. The age should be 20.
“The test is a bit embarrassing but it’s over quickly and it could save your life.
“I’ve had cancer but I beat it. You have to be positive so if my story helps someone this will all be worthwhile.”