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  1. ITV Report

Mum whose cervical cancer was revealed by routine smear test urges others to go for screening

Four and a half years ago, Ali Alcock received some news that she never expected to hear.

A routine smear test had revealed that she had cervical cancer.

"When I walked into the room there was a consultant, a nurse and a Macmillan nurse and I thought - oh crikey, this isn't good", said Ali.

"And that's when I was told I was diagnosed with cervical cancer."

Five months and two rounds of treatment followed before Ali, a social worker from Corwen, was told that she was cancer free.

She says the experience has completely changed her life.

"I just urge all the women out there, all the ladies, please, please, please go for your cervical screen testing. It can save your life. It saved mine."

Ali has helped to raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan by appearing in a naked calendar Credit: Macmillan

Since receiving the all-clear, Ali has helped to raise thousands for Macmillan, the cancer charity that supported her, by appearing in a naked calendar.

The charity is now encouraging women to know the signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancers - which are those that develop in the cervix, vagina, vulva, ovaries and womb.

What are the symptoms of gynaecological cancers?

  • A lump or sore on your vulva or vagina, or in your groin
  • A swelling or lump in your groin (where your leg joins to your body)
  • Other vulva changes - including itching, burning or soreness
  • Unusual vaginal discharge - including watery, blood-stained or smelly discharge
  • Heavier or more painful periods than usual
  • Bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
  • Pain when peeing, needing to pee often, or blood in your pee
  • Pain in the vulval area or pelvic area
  • Thickened, raised, red, white or dark patches on the skin of the vulva
  • A long-lasting bloated feeling in your tummy (having a swollen tummy)
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower tummy area and/or back

Sharon Manning, a nurse from Macmillan, said: "The earlier gynaecological cancers are found, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. You are not wasting your doctor's time by getting your symptoms checked."

She added: "Having these, or any other ongoing, unexplained symptoms doesn't mean you have cancer but it is important to get them checked in case you do."