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Cervical Cancer Awareness: Natalie's Story

A 23-year-old woman who has been left infertile from cervical cancer is campaigning for the cervical screening age to be reduced from 25 to 20.

Natalie Carney, from Mansfield, was diagnosed last year with cervical cancer at the age of 22. Extensive treatment to fight the disease, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, has left her unable to have children in the future.

Currently the age for smear testing, which detects the disease, begins at 25. However Miss Carney is one of many young women to develop the condition before that age. She believes if she was allowed to have a smear test from the NHS the outcome would have been different.

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Cervical screening under 25 'more harm than good'

The Department of Health says Cervical Cancer screening for under 25s does 'more harm than good'. They've responded to campaign for the NHS to provide routine smear tests for young women from the age of 20 instead of 25.

It follows the case of Natalie Carney from Mansfield, who was just 22 when she was given the devastating news that she had cervical cancer.

The decision to begin cervical screening at age 25 is based on recommendations made by the independent expert Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening and is also recommended by the World Health Organisation. Research by the Committee found that screening in women aged under 25 does more harm than good.

– Department of Health spokesperson

Campaigning for earlier smear tests

Natalie Carney was just 22 when she was given the devastating news that she had cervical cancer. She faced months of gruelling treatment which has left her unable to have a baby.

Now, Natalie, from Mansfield is backing a campaign for the NHS to provide routine smear tests for young women from the age of 20 instead of 25. She believes that if she'd had the test earlier her cancer could have been prevented.

It was caught in time for her life to be saved but the treatment means she won't be able to have children without the help of IVF and a surrogate mother. Natalie is bravely speaking out in support of Cervical Cancer Awareness week.