A 24 year old mother, has died from cervical cancer after being refused a smear test as she was too young. Rachel Sarjantson, who was scheduled to marry in March, fought the disease for a year before her death which her family has described as ‘completely avoidable’.

The legal age for a smear test is 25 and her grieving family have now demanded the age limit to be lowered to stop further deaths.

Her mother, Lisa Rich, said: ‘She didn’t need to suffer this. It was tragic and completely unavoidable. It shouldn’t be happening in this country’.

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24-year-old Rachel Sarjantson, has died from cervical cancer after being refused a smear test because she was too young

When Miss Sarjantson was eventually given a smear test, it was too late as she had already been detected with aggressive cancer that had taken-over her body.
Following a hysterotomy last summer and four weeks of radiotherapy, doctors believed she was in the clear.
Nonetheless in April, doctors told her the cancer had returned and by that time her body was too weak to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
She was shifted to hospital on June 30 and stayed there till her death on August 12.
Miss Sarjantson, who lives in Blackpool, was scheduled to marry her fiancé Karl Hyde in March until her illness forced them to cancel.
The mother-of-one, a kindergarten teacher was so devoted to her 20-month-old son Ronnie she even timed her radiotherapy treatment on the morning of his first birthday so he could celebrate in the evening.
Her mother, Lisa, said: ‘She was a loving person and very close with her little boy. Throughout the whole thing, she remained positive.
‘She never gave in and made a bucket list because as far as she was concerned she was going to beat it.’
She added: ‘She was trying to plan camping trips. She really wanted to get better and to carry on – as far as she was concerned that’s what she was going to do.
‘Even when the doctors said you don’t have to have any more operations if you don’t want, she said “no, that would be giving in'”.

Mr Hyde, a corporal in the army, has now moved to the second battalion, Duke of Lancaster’s regiment, stationed at Weeton, so he can be at home to take care of their son.
Her family has now initiated a campaign to lower the age limit for cervical screening and said a simple procedure could have shut out the tumour developing.
Her 28-year-old sister, Zoe, who worked with Rachel, said: ‘If the age limit had been lowered already, she might still be here.
‘So many young girls are dying of it. Maybe in time they can help other mums, for their children’s sake if not anything else.’

Each year around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are detected in UK, which amount to 2 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in women.
Cervical cancer commonly shows no symptoms in its early stages but the most common is irregular bleeding, in between periods, after sex or after the menopause.
The lower age limit for cervical screening in Scotland, is 20 at the moment; nonetheless, it’s set to rise to 25 next year.

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Miss Sarjantson, resident of Blackpool, pictured with her son Ronnie, passed away on August 12 after being classified as too young to have a smear test

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The mother-of-one, a kindergarten teacher was so devoted to her 20-month-old son Ronnie she even timed her radiotherapy treatment on the morning of his first birthday so he could celebrate in the evening.

CERVICAL SCREENING PROGRAMME

By going for regular screening any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be detected at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to prevent cancer developing.

Approximately 75 per cent of cervical cancers can be prevented through early detection and treatment.

A cervical screening test or smear test is a way of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.
Women of any age can develop cervical cancer and approximately 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year.
This form of cancer is most common in sexually active women in the age range of 30 to 45 and rare in women below 25.