‘I had cervical cancer and didn’t know – a routine smear test saved my life’

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A woman who was diagnosed with cancer despite having no symptoms has told how a routine smear test saved her life. Tania Taylor had her world turned upside down when abnormal cells were discovered during a cervical screening in January 2021. Just weeks later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Thankfully, doctors were able to remove most of the cancerous cells and the 37-year-old was given the all-clear. She will still need to go for a colposcopy screening every six months for the next five years and is on a waiting list for a hysterectomy to help prevent reoccurrence.

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Now Tania, who owns a hypnotherapy business, believes the routine appointment may have saved her life – and is encouraging other women to go for regular screenings. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, she said: “I received my regular routine smear test letter, I’ve never really had any anxiety about it.

“A few days later I received a letter in the post and it was worded with a lot of medial jargon. It sounded quite serious and I just remember taking it to my fiancé and I couldn’t speak. I just let him read it and I burst into tears.

“It said I would be called in for a colposcopy and that would be within two weeks. It was a bit of a shock; I’ve always previously had letters that have said everything is fine.



Tania is now encouraging others to go for their tests

“My colposcopy showed visible abnormal cells on my cervix. There and then they did an excision to remove them. The whole time I could see everything on a TV screen.

“I waited 10 weeks later for the results to come back. They found three tumours that were cancerous so I was booked in for another surgery to make sure there was nothing left.”

Research suggests more than three-quarters of all cervical cancer diagnoses could be prevented if women regularly attended their smear tests. In the UK, women are offered cervical screenings by the NHS from the age of 25.

“From the smear test to being given the all-clear was five months,” Tania continued. If I hadn’t gone for my smear test when I was meant to, then the cancer would have grown.

“A few people said my story made them go for their smear they had been putting off. It means what I’ve been through really prevents other people having to go through the same thing.”

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