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Cervical cancer symptoms: Finance manager says doctors dismissed four signs

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A finance manager who lost her mother to cervical cancer in her mid-twenties and was later diagnosed with it feared her children were “too young to conceive” so she had to “be strong for her family.” He said he knew he had to. mother”.

Crystal Manuel of Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 37 after losing her mother, Dolores, to uterine cancer at age 26 and experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding for about a year. I was.

The mother of two, now 39, described experiencing heavier and more painful periods, lower back pain, “pain in her legs” and post-coital bleeding, but visited her GP several times. Nevertheless, “whatever they do,” her symptoms continued.

After seeking a diagnosis, about a year later, Crystal was diagnosed with cervical cancer adenocarcinoma. “It’s very scary,” she said. Especially since she had died three months after her mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

As a cancer survivor now, Crystal wants to highlight the importance of “listening to your body” and checking if “something is (not) right.” .

“[My mother]was about to have a hysterectomy because she experienced bleeding at 49 and the doctor thought she had fibroids. Turns out it was just a fibroid – it was cancer.

Unfortunately, I’m late. She was diagnosed in November and died the following February, so she is 3 months later.

‘It was too late to catch’

She added: Ignored it for quite some time – ‘just go and get tested’.

Cervical cancer, a cancer that can be found anywhere in the cervix (the opening between the vagina and the uterus), currently kills two women in the UK every day, according to the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. increase.

Symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, changes in vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, and back pain.

(PA Real Life)

A cervical screening, known as a smear, checks the health of your cervix and can help prevent cancer. Crystal’s results were negative, but she continued to bleed and knew “something was wrong.”

Crystal said it was very difficult to get a GP appointment due to the coronavirus pandemic, but after seeking a consultation, she secured an appointment and was referred to Southampton General Hospital, where she underwent a cervical biopsy. received.

A few weeks later, she received the devastating news that she had cervical cancer, followed by an MRI and CT scan.

“It was really scary,” Crystal said, given that her mother died three months after her diagnosis.

“I was so scared…I lost my mother to uterine cancer, which made it even scarier,” she said.

“You worry more as a mother. You don’t know how bad it is and you expect the worst, which makes you anxious and stressed.”

(PA Real Life)

But despite Crystal’s fears, she has to be strong for her husband, Clive, 39, regional manager of British Gas, and her two children, Camron, 15, and Chaia, 12. I knew I had to. (Her family”.

She continues:

“Whatever happens from now on, having kids just makes you think you’re too young to not have a mother.”

Crystal explained that although she feared the worst at times, her diagnosis was “not a death sentence” and that she “just tried to carry on as normal.”

She was well on her way to surviving the treatment, which included a radical hysterectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the uterus), five rounds of chemotherapy, five weeks of daily radiation therapy, followed by two weeks of brachytherapy. I feel that a positive way of thinking is fundamental.

Crystal said she recovered well after her hysterectomy and didn’t lose her hair due to the type of chemotherapy she received, but she suffered “horrible” symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, bone pain and loss of appetite. He said he experienced side effects. She goes into menopause.

During treatment, she tried her best to stay positive, but Crystal explained that “there were days when I felt down.”

(PA Real Life)

She even remembers crying in front of the nurse saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”

But Crystal knew she had to “experience it.” It was only now that she began to process the effects of her diagnosis and treatment.

“Looking back on it now, I feel really sorry for myself. Goddamn, I think I actually went through a lot,” she said.

“But at that time, I think it’s like being in survival mode because you just have to go through it.

“You’re in pain and a lot has happened. Your blood pressure has dropped, you’ve passed out, you’ve gotten sick. But in retrospect, it seems like nothing happened.

“At that point, I knew I had to put up with it, and I had no other choice.”

Three months after completing her treatment, Crystal was diagnosed as “fine” and is now being checked every few months.

(PA Real Life)

While feeling “relieved” and happy to be in remission and her physical health has improved, Crystal explained that the past two years have been difficult to process, adding:

“You’re obviously happy[to be free from cancer]but I think you’re still mentally processing it, so you’re not that happy. It’s all you’ve been through.”

Crystal explained that her diagnosis and treatment “taught[her]a lot about life and what’s important in life,” adding: I live my life (to the fullest). ”

Now Crystal wants to encourage other women to get smears and seek a diagnosis if they feel “something is wrong.”

“Listen to your body, because fortunately that’s how I detected it,” she said.

“I knew something was wrong…[but]I had to push to be seen.

“Defend yourself, (and) if you have symptoms or feel that something is wrong with your body, go and get tested.

“[My mother’s cancer]was discovered too late and she said, ‘If you have pain or pain, go and get tested.’ I agree.”

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust launches #WeCan End Cervical Cancer, our biggest campaign ever, to help make cervical cancer a thing of the past. For more information, please visit www.jostrust.org.uk/ccpw.

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