Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 20:32 UK

Young mother's fears over cancer

Amy Cullum
Amy Cullum says she was told to come back in 10 months

A young mother has spoken of her health fears after being refused a cervical cancer smear test despite having a family history of the disease.

Amy Cullum, from Yatton near Bristol, is 24 - a year younger than the age at which tests begin.

She said: "I was shocked. I have cancer in my family, my nan died of stomach cancer."

A health department spokesman said cervical cancer was highly rare for women under the age of 25.

Ms Cullum became worried about her health recently when stories appeared in the news about reality TV star Jade Goody having cervical cancer.

'No evidence'

The GP's surgery in Yatton told Ms Cullum she was 10 months too young for a smear test.

She said: "I've got breast cancer in my family and I was just really shocked that they could say 'come back in 10 months'."

Professor Stephen Duffy, Cancer Research UK's professor of cancer screening, said: "If a woman has symptoms of cervical cancer this is no longer a screening issue.

"Her doctor should address those symptoms appropriately, whatever her age, to decide how best to diagnose and treat her.

"The decision not to screen women under 25 was made because cervical cancer is very rare before this age and there was no evidence of a benefit from screening this age group."

Print Sponsor

Girls to have cervical cancer jab
04 Sep 08 |  Wales
Q&A: The cervical cancer vaccine
29 Sep 09 |  Health
Schools start cancer vaccinations
01 Sep 08 |  Scotland
Row over cervical vaccine choice
18 Jun 08 |  Health
Many parents 'block cancer jab'
25 Apr 08 |  Health


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific