I was told I was ‘too young to have cancer’ – now I’ve got months to live and I’m heartbroken for my kids
A mother who was reportedly told she was ‘too young’ to have cancer now has just 12 months to live.
Emma Louise Clark, 31, first visited her doctor in January 2022 after worrying about weight loss and trouble sleeping.
Her doctor wrongly assumed the Merseyside mum’s symptoms were a sign her contraceptive coil had moved – and refused to test her for anything else.
“My doctor basically fobbed me off,” she said.
“He didn’t want to examine me and even after I said I wanted him to check it out he said no but because I was bleeding he arranged for an ultrasound and blood work,” she added.
Her doctor insisted that her IUD had “dislocated” and that she would be fine once it was removed.
He said she was “too young to be anything else,” Emma recalled.
Weeks later, when Emma was finally seen by another doctor to have the device removed, they realized something was wrong with her cervix.
“Four or five days later I had biopsies done and when I picked up the results they told us it was cervical cancer,” she explained.
Further testing revealed that the cancer was already in stage 3, which doctors called Emma very advanced for cervical cancer.
“That’s why swabs are important,” she said.
According to Cancer Research, one in 142 women in the UK will be diagnosed with cervical cancer at some point in their lives.
Survival rates from cervical cancer have improved in the UK over the past 40 years.
In the 1970s, almost half of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer survived their disease beyond 10 years, today it is almost two-thirds.
This is partly thanks to the NHS Cervical Screening Program that was introduced in the 1980s.
Emma is now calling for the recommended age for cancer screening for women to be lowered from 25 to 16-18.
She also wants the NHS to “do more” to ensure people are screened.
“The NHS should send out a letter or two and get in touch with people who are not booking.
“It’s the only way to crack down and make sure girls are safe,” she said.
Since her diagnosis, the doctor who discovered Emma’s cancer has filed a complaint against the medic who dismissed her symptoms early on.
“I had to go through a few hospital stays with infections and sepsis. I also had to have an ostomy bag fitted because the tumor was so big my bowel wasn’t working,” she explained.
She had five weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but nothing helped get rid of the disease, which has spread to other parts of her body – including her lungs.
“The cancer is out of control,” she said. “It’s now terminal stage four and they’ve given me 12 months – a little longer if the treatment is working better than expected.”
Despite the heartbreaking situation, the mother of three has decided to spend her remaining time with family and finally marry her soulmate David Rice, 34.
The couple – who have been together for almost 16 years – set up a GoFundMe in hopes of raising £7,000 so Emma can witness her “princess” wedding.
She said, “We have three young children and I mostly feel for them.”
“They were literally amazing, for their age they were so mature and grown up and helpful to say the least, but as a mother – the one who does the school mornings and does the girls hair and sits and does their homework – I’m usually too sick for these things.”
At the time of writing, Emma’s fundraiser had raised £6,480.
What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
There are no obvious symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer – so it’s best to keep up with your swabs when reminded by your GP.
However, vaginal bleeding can often be a telltale sign, especially if it occurs after sex, between periods, or after menopause.
However, abnormal bleeding is not a clear sign of the disease, but only a possible indicator.
Even so, it should be checked out by your GP as soon as possible.
The NHS states that other warning signs include:
- pain and discomfort during sex
- unusual or uncomfortable vaginal discharge
- Lower back or pelvic pain
And if it spreads to other organs, the signs may include:
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- severe pain in your side or back caused by your kidneys
- pee or poop more than usual
- Loss of control of your bladder or bowels
- blood in your urine
- Swelling in one or both legs
- heavy vaginal bleeding
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7231940/cervical-cancer-death/ I was told I was ‘too young to have cancer’ – now I’ve got months to live and I’m heartbroken for my kids