Alex Davies-Jones MP 'lost most of cervix after delaying smear'

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media captionMs Davies-Jones wanted to highlight how "vitally important" smear tests are"

An MP has described how she had to have most of her cervix removed after putting off a smear test for several months.

Pontypridd MP Alex Davies-Jones, 31, said she was invited for her first routine screening in December 2015 and "like so many others, I put it off".

Following a reminder in April 2016 she went for the cervical screening.

She wrote in the i newspaper it led to her being diagnosed with CIN3, abnormal cells and had to have surgery.

Ms Davies-Jones wrote in the paper she was left "without the majority of my cervix" after the surgery.

She said she used her article to urge others "don't delay in booking" and said she felt compelled to write about her experiences for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

A small sample of cells is taken from the cervix and checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells.

If present the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells which can be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.

The NHS advises women between the ages of 25 to 49 to have a smear test every three years.

image captionAlex Davies-Jones became the Labour MP for Pontypridd in the 2019 General Election

'Simply too busy'

She wrote: "I used all of the usual excuses that you may have heard before.

"I was simply too busy, I couldn't get an appointment and I had no symptoms or abnormalities that were worrying me."

Ms Davies-Jones wrote she thought the routine screening would "just be five minutes of awkward conversation with the nurse at my local GP whilst taking my knickers off".

"I didn't ever think that there could be a chance that my cells would be 'abnormal' and that the next few months of my life would leave me terrified and constantly contemplating my own mortality."

media captionChloe Delevingne had a smear test live on the Victoria Derbyshire programme to show what the procedure involved

If she had put off the screening any longer "the situation could have been different", the MP wrote.

She said she first received a type of laser treatment to "burn off the abnormal cells from my cervix" but more treatment was needed after the doctor told her the abnormal cells on her cervix were "embedded deeper and looked more challenging than expected".

Then she had to have surgery, a "cold knife biopsy".

'Anxiety and fear'

"I was without the majority of my cervix, but my life was saved. It was over," she wrote.

"Sadly, for many this isn't the case. For the next few years, I attended screenings every six months to ensure the abnormal cells didn't return.

"My last screening was in April 2018. Thankfully again all was fine but the anxiety and fear that surrounded me as I awaited those results has stayed with me even now."

She went on to give birth to her son Sullivan in March 2019.

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