An English mother who was told she was too young to have a Pap test has since been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer.
Doctors diagnosed Jade Pateman, 21, of County Durham with cervical cancer in May. She believes that if she had been given the test earlier, they would have been able to catch the disease in time to stop it.
“If the screening age had been 20, it is more than possible that I might have been diagnosed sooner and the cancer might not have spread,” Pateman said. “It was strange, as when they said I only had 18 months to two years to live I didn't get as upset as I thought I would. But when I came home and thought about it I was heartbroken.”
Pateman is also the mother of 2-year-old Oscar.
“My little one is what keeps me going,” she said. “I don't want to mope around because Oscar might pick up that something is wrong with mum. I want to go out and create memories for me and his memory box. Family and friends have been so supportive.”
The cancer first began spreading at the end of 2014 and by February she was experiencing symptoms.
Those with cervical cancer often do not experience symptoms early on, but irregular bleeding in between periods may occur.
This year she was treated for an inflamed cervix. Doctors were giving her antibiotics when they referred her to a colonoscopy clinic.
There they discovered a 2-inch tumor on her cervix and confirmed she had cancer.
The cancer has since spread to her lymph nodes in her chest, stomach and neck. Doctors say that radiotherapy can no longer help.
She is currently receiving chemotherapy and campaigning for young women to get tested lest they suffer from the same issues.
She is currently spearheading a petition on Change.org demanding that the minimum age for a cervical screening in Britain be changed from 25 to 20.