A MOTHER-OF-TWO who was refused a smear test because of her age is urg-ing people to sign an ePetition that aims to lower the age of the test to 16.
Stacey Boyle first asked her doctor for a smear test at the age of 18, but was told she was too young.
At the age of 24, and after several trips to the doctor, Stacey was diagnosed with cin3, the most severe grade of pre-cancerous lesions.
Stacey said: “I was told that I was too young, and they like to wait until you are 25 before you have a smear test. The doctor tested me for bacterial infec- tions, but they all came back clear and my symptoms persisted.”
The petition has been set up by the family of Sophie Jones, a 19-year old from the Wirral who died of cancer on Saturday. Sophie had complained of crippling stomach pain last February, but was denied a smear test because of her age.
She was finally diagnosed with cervical cancer in November, by which time the disease had spread.
The NHS scrapped routine smear tests for under-25s in 2003, but women of all ages are able to have a cervical smear test at any age if their doctor thinks it is necessary to aid diagnosis.
Stacey’s doctor agreed to give her a smear test, despite her young age, after her second visit.
Stacey, who lives in Shadsworth with her boyfriend and two children and works for the Via Partnership, in Leyland, said: “My doctor was pretty good with me and, in the end, did give me the test, but I had to ask for it and not all GPs are like that.
“The results came back clear, but I continued to have a lot of pain. I was 24 before I had another smear test, and was referred for a biopsy at Burnley General.
“That showed that I had cin3, which was a huge shock.
“Cin3 can turn into cancer if not treated quickly and, luckily, I am ok. But imag-ine if I had had to wait until I was 25 to be called for a smear test? It could have been so much worse. It could have been too late.
“I want as many people as possible to sign this petition. Anyone, at any age, can get any type of cancer and it is important to catch it early. Why should there be an age barrier if it’s in your cervix?”