A CANCER nurse who had her smear test cancelled during the coronavirus lockdown has revealed she has been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Destiny Wade had the test scheduled for March but it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The 28-year-old from Crayford, southeast London, is now urging people to not cancel their smear appointments after she was told she won’t be able to carry children.
Destiny, who works as an oncology nurse, started having symptoms such as bleeding after sex, but doctors reassured her it was just a popped cyst.
After a heavy night of bleeding, Destiny, who also beat the coronavirus, took herself to A&E.
After three weeks of tests she was told she had cervical cancer.
Destiny’s revelation comes after a petition was launched to stop tens of thousands of coronavirus-linked cancer deaths.
The appeal was launched by the family of stage 4 bowel cancer patient Kelly Smith, who died after her chemo was stopped during lockdown.
Around 3,200 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
This is why The Sun previously launched the #CheersForSmears campaign, aiming to ensure women across the UK attend their screenings, no matter what.
Cerivcal cancer: Know the signs
With around 3,200 women in the UK now being diagnosed with the disease every year – a number that is set to rise by around 40 per cent within 20 years – and one in three dying from it, it’s clear we’re facing a cervical cancer time bomb.
So, what early signs do you need to look out for?
Abnormal bleeding (during or after sex, between periods and also post-menopause)
The most common and earliest sign of cervical cancer tends to be irregular bleeding.
It happens when the cancer cells grow on the tissue below the cervix.
It’s an especially alarming sign in postmenopausal women who no longer have periods. There’s no age limit to developing cervical cancer.
Unusual vaginal discharge
Everyone’s discharge is different, so it’s a case of knowing what is normal for you.
If you find that the colour, smell and consistency has changed, then that’s something you really need to have checked out.
When cancer lacks oxygen, it can cause an infection which leads to strange smelling discharge.
Discomfort or pain during sex
Pain during sex can be a sign of a number of different issues, but one is cervical cancer.
Because the disease often comes with no symptoms, pain during intercourse is one of the key indicators. It can be a sign that the cancer is spreading to surrounding tissues.
Lower back pain
It could be down to you straining something in the gym, or it could be a warning sign that something’s wrong with your reproductive organs.
Persistent pain – just one off twinges – in the lower back, pelvis or appendix can be a symptom of cervical cancer.
Unintended weight loss
While effortless weight loss might sound like the answer to many of our prayers, it’s never a good sign if it happens seemingly without cause.
A loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss tend to be signs that the body isn’t working properly – it’s trying to conserve energy. If you notice that you’re not eating as you normally do, go to your GP.
Destiny said: “In March I was supposed to have a smear test which I do every three years but my GP called me and told me it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
“When I raised that I had some mild symptoms, I was told: “You are only 27, you have low risk of having cervical cancer so you are not a priority’.
“I was told I could get an appointment in the next 6 months.
“I had coronavirus and was off work for four weeks – it was around that time when I started noticing abnormal bleeding.”
Destiny then spoke to her GP on the phone, who told her it was a popped cyst.
By May, Destiny said the bleeding was every day and added that she had been taking the pill since the age of 15 with no problems.
“One night I had very extreme bleeding and I had a gut feeling, I thought ‘I can’t sit on this any longer’ so I took myself to A&E.
“I remember sitting in the car and thinking they are going to laugh in my face because who takes themselves to A&E for bleeding but I just felt I wanted someone to take a look.
“I was on the bed and the consultant did an internal examination- as soon as I saw her face I knew that something was wrong.
“She said I had a tumour the size of a tennis ball.
“I am a fit active girl, I work with cancer I thought I’d know if I had it but it turns out you can never know.
“If I had the smear test I would have caught it in March.”
In April 2017 Destiny had a smear test and the results were 100 per cent normal.
She is now going through her first round of chemo.
This will be followed by six weeks of radiotherapy.
Sadly, the radiotherapy will weaken her womb, meaning she won’t be able to carry children.
However she underwent a ovarian transposition- an operation where the ovaries are moved higher up in the body, to minimise the radiotherapy’s effect.
She added: “The ovarian transposition is done through keyhole surgery and it is amazing.
“They basically disconnect the ovaries and move them and pin them underneath my ribs.
“I literally have ovaries in my ribs- I’d love to see an X-ray.
“There is going to be harm from the radiotherapy but it will be reduced because my ovaries are higher up in my body.”
She added that she will be able to have IVF and have a baby through a surrogate.
In order to minimise the risk of Destiny losing her hair, she is also wearing a cooling scalp which is a jelly cap which numbs hair follicles.
The bodybuilder is determined to beat cancer and is keen on raising awareness for smear tests and has since set up a Go Fund Me page.
She added: “I was told I am on grade three now – if it had been picked up earlier it could have potentially still been at grade one and they could have just removed it.
“The main thing is if you are not happy with someone’s diagnosis, if you feel like something’s wrong, don’t let it stop you asking for a second opinion.
“I think it’s really sad that something like a smear test is classed as a routine appointment.
“It’s one of those things that women don’t like doing it and need their GP to put pressure on them and convince them to have it done.
“It’s a bit embarrassing but it’s something essential and life saving.
“There is still a stigma attached to it because women feel there is some judgement behind it.”
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