Chesterfield mum and 'sweetest person' issues warning on cervical cancer screening as she battles condition aged just 34
A Chesterfield mum and health worker has urged women to attend their ‘life-saving’ smear test after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer.
Rebecca Clarke, aged 34, was diagnosed with an invasive form of the disease during the coronavirus lockdown and after treatment is awaiting an MRI scan that will reveal if she has beaten the condition.
Rebecca’s colleagues at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre, where she works as a GP liaison officer, describe her as the ‘face’ and ‘spirit’ of their surgery and are rooting for her to make a full recovery.
Rebecca said: “I would urge every woman to regularly attend their smear test. No one likes having it but it could save your life. You may be living with a condition without symptoms and not know unless a test reveals it.
“The faster you receive a diagnosis the more likely treatment is to be successful.”
Rebecca, who has a five-year-old daughter, Florence, joined the treatment centre on the day it opened its doors 15 years ago and has become the ‘face of the centre’ for patients, relatives and local GPs who refer patients for orthopaedic surgery.
Other staff members have been deeply affected by Rebecca’s diagnosis and have begun fundraising for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, which educates women and girls about cervical cancer and provides support.
The centre’s theatre manager Maria Leach, who admits she is not really a runner, is taking on a marathon soon in aid of the trust.
She said: “Rebecca is the kindest and sweetest person and we are all rooting for her. She is the spirit of our centre, always there to help anyone.
“I am not really a runner, but I have decided to run a marathon in nine days to show my support and to raise money for this worthwhile charity.
"This is a cancer that can be defeated if we educate women on the importance of monitoring their health, attending screening and contacting their GP if they notice symptoms.”
The symptoms of cervical cancer can include: unusual vaginal bleeding; pain or discomfort during sex; vaginal discharge and pain in the area between the hip bones.
You can sponsor Maria by visiting the Just Giving page here