Just lately I have experienced how important it is to have regular cancer screening. A year ago, a close friend died from cancer. Two blogging friends have been on their own cancer journeys. Janice has been through the ups and downs and treatment over the past nine months or so, and is now clear and starting to enjoy life again. Charlotte Ann is still on her journey, undergoing gruelling treatment, whilst recording everything on her blog, which will no doubt be of tremendous help to others in a similar situation. As always, I am willing her on to a full recovery.
A couple of days ago, I found a lump in my breast. Then a bruise appeared from nowhere, although I hadn't bumped it. I went to the hospital this morning, saw the doctor, had a mammogram and an ultrasound. As usual with hospitals here, all results were available immediately. I have nothing to worry about. There are two small lumps but they are benign nodules. I don't need to go back for another year. Which made me recall that it's years since I had a mammogram. I will make sure that in future I have one every year.
Recently my daughter went for her routine cervical screening. In the UK the first cervical screening is done at age 25. In my daughter's age group (she is 30) it is only carried out every 3 years. The results were back quicker than she expected. They showed high-grade abnormal cells (CIN3).
She then attended the hospital for a colposcopy, and at the same time the abnormal cells were removed. Statistics show that 1 in 3 women with CIN3 cells will go on to develop cancer. She will now have to have 6 monthly check-ups for the foreseeable future. This will make sure that if the cells return they can be removed, and any other necessary treatment carried out.
Today, my lovely, caring daughter posted on Facebook to make others aware of the importance of Cervical Screening. This is what she said:
"I can't stress how important this is, if I'd missed my last one I would more than likely have had cancer by the time the next was due, if you are due your cervical screening then get it booked today, a few minutes embarrassment could mean you are able to prevent cancer rather than finding out you already have it, simples!
The cells they removed were cin 3 cells so I will be having 6 monthly check ups, still a worry but imagine if I'd missed my last smear, it's so important to go to them, mine developed so quickly from normal to high abnormalities within 3 years so imagine if you miss one?"
Since posting this she has already had messages from two of her friends to say that they have booked their screening appointments.
If you are overdue for cervical screening or a mammogram, please don't put it off any longer. Make an appointment now. Better to be safe than sorry.