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Have no fear - its just a cervical smear!

By Ellie McGuinness

Published In: Clinical Negligence

As we head into cervical cancer prevention week, 23-29 January, many young women will been shocked to learn of the many deaths that occurred in the last few years as a result of cervical cancer.

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Amber Cliff, a 25-year-old Business Graduate died of cervical cancer in 2017. Amber’s family fought to change the medical protocols and guidance on cervical smear tests, so that any woman under the age of 25 can request a cervical smear test if she is experiencing unusual symptoms relating to the disease.

Cervical cancer is something that can go undetected and often will not show signs until it is advanced. Women from the age of 25 are currently offered a cervical smear test to check the presentation of the cells in their cervix and ensure that there is nothing untoward going on.

So what are the symptoms?

Commonly known symptoms relating to cervical cancer are:

  • Abnormal bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding during and after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after the menopause

Unfortunately, Amber reported symptoms of cervical cancer to her GP from the age of 18. She sought advice from her GP who advised her there was nothing to worry about. Under medical protocols in place, her GP’s advice was accurate it was and still is very unusual for a woman of her age to be displaying symptoms caused by the disease. Nonetheless, had Amber been offered a cervical smear sooner, she may have had a different outcome.

It is reported that in the UK approximately 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have created a simple message: Get informed; Get screened!

We assist many families who are sadly in a similar position to Amber’s family, where a loved one has been lost due to delays in being screened or a delay in diagnosis.

We urge and encourage all women to seek urgent medical attention. If you are experiencing any symptoms that relate to cervical cancer and/or if you are due a cervical smear test, please book your screening now!

We encourage anyone who has been affected by the care they have received from the NHS or other medical provider relating to cervical cancer to contact us so that we can begin to support you too. Call 0800 138 0458 or email

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Ellie has worked in the legal sector for two years. She is a Trainee Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team.

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