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A bodybuilder nurse was diagnosed with cervical cancer months after a smear test was cancelled due to Covid.
Fitness fanatic Destiny Wade, 28, had her routine screening called off and was told she would not be seen for six months – despite telling her GP about worrying symptoms.
The paediatric oncology nurse was desperate to have children, but by the time she was diagnosed with stage 2B cervical cancer it was too late to freeze her eggs.
Destiny, who competed in bodybuilding contests before lockdown, said: “I’m heartbroken.
“Now that chance has been taken away from me, and I’m grieving the child I’ll never have.”
Around 600,000 women missed their smear tests in April and May 2020 alone.
As many as a million could have had their appointments cancelled since the start of the pandemic.
Destiny noticed bleeding between periods last February, but with a smear test booked in March she was not too worried. However, when it continued during lockdown an on-call doctor did not consider cancer because of her age.
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After a night of heavy bleeding she went to A&E, where medics found a tennis ball-sized tumour.
Destiny, a nurse at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, was diagnosed with stage 2B cervical cancer in July and needed immediate treatment.
She got the all-clear in December but was devastated when told she was going through the menopause at the age of just 28.
Destiny, of Gravesend, Kent, said: “During treatment, all I could think about was fighting for my life. I was alive, but I was being told I would never be a mum.”
And she urged women: “Don’t slip through the net. I did, and now I’ll have to live with the consequences forever.”
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, with nine cases diagnosed a day.
Rebecca Shoosmith, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Cervical screening is a really important test, but it can also be a difficult one.
“If you have been invited to make a cervical screening appointment, that’s because your GP has put measures in place to make it safe to attend.
“We are here if you have questions or concerns about tests, delays, results or any aspect of cervical screening or cervical cancer.”
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