24-Year-Old Woman With Cervical Cancer Shares Her Early Symptoms to Help Others

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Heather Keating was diagnosed with cervical cancer a year before she became eligible for smear tests.

woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 24 has shared her story and symptoms online in an effort to help other young women who may be at risk.

Now 25, Heather Keating, from Tipperary, Ireland, was diagnosed a year before she was old enough to be eligible for free smear tests which could have picked up the cancer.

“Because I was 24 I was not entitled to a free smear and the early cell changes in my cervix were not picked up,” Ms Keating wrote in a Facebook post.

I was diagnosed with stage one cervical cancer at the age of 24. Because I was 24 I was not entitled to a free smear and the early cell changes in my cervix were not picked up.I started bleeding between my periods and bleeding after sex. I went to see my GP and was told to come back when I was 25 for a smear. I thought that’s fine. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I had cancer. Three months later the bleeding got worse and I became anaemic. 

If your [sic] over 25 please go for your smear tests make time for it! They are so important. I wish I had the opportunity to have caught the cell changes before it became cancerous. If you are under 25 and feel something is not right please go and get it check [sic] out with your GP.

The symptoms are:

  • Abnormal bleeding (between periods, after sex, or after menopause)
  • Heavy or longer periods
  • Foul smelling discharge
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvis or during sex
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