Cancer victim's plea over routine smear testing


Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR battling cancer has warned women not to ignore the signs.
Ann Woodmass from Ellesmere was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January following a routine smear test.
But the 32-year-old says she wishes she had followed up a missed appointment after having an abnormal smear three years ago.
Ann, who married her fiancé of 11 years, Nigel, 39, last weekend said she wishes she could change her decisions.
She said: “I had an abnormal smear in 2012 and I missed the appointment at Shrewsbury. I assumed the doctors would have rearranged it but I never heard anything and life goes on.

“Then in November I had abnormal bleeding but I put it down to moving house.”
In January, she went to the doctors, and they referred her to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
“I had a biopsy in Shrewsbury and they said it was curable, then two weeks later after I had had an MRI scan and PET scan they said it was worse.”
The former dinner lady who is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment continued: “It didn’t sink in when I found out, I was so angry, I wondered why me, why, when I have such young children?
“I just wish I had gone to that appointment in 2012,” she added.
Despite the diagnosis Ann and her family are continuing to live life to the full.
It brought forward Ann and Nigel’s decision to marry with her daughter, Megan, aged 14, as her bridesmaid and sons, Curtis, 13, Kian, 11 and Thomas, eight, as her pageboys.
Her sister, Sarah-Jane Dean, is having her head shaved in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and the Little Princess Trust, and her brother, David Francis, is running the Ellesmere 10k in August to raise funds for Macmillan.
She added: “It has made me want to live each day as if it is my last and I’m spending lots of time with my family - I have a very good, supportive family.
“I have sat my daughter down about having smear tests, they are uncomfortable but they can save your life. I want to raise that awareness in every other woman too, if there are any abnormal changes get checked out, it could be nothing, but it could also be something and that check could save your life,” Ann added.

l Ann is pictured with husband, Nigel.

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