Mom Dying of Cervical Cancer After Being Told She Was 'Too Young' for a Pap Test

jade patemanIf your doctor told you, "Nah, you're too young to get this test," you'd probably think, "Cool. I won't worry about it then." But unfortunately, doctors, insurance companies, and hospital protocols can be wrong -- as in the case of this 21-year-old mom who is dying after being denied a pap test.

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Jade Pateman gave birth to her son in 2013, when she was 19 years old. She lives in the U.K., and the policy of the country's National Health Service is that only women 25 and older are screened for cervical cancer.

This boy is amazing.

A photo posted by Jade Pateman (@jadepateman) on

Flash ahead to last February, when Jade was diagnosed with an inflamed cervix. When her doctor ran tests to figure out the cause, a two-inch tumor was found. Sadly, it was believed to have been growing since the end of 2014 -- well before Jade began experiencing symptoms.

The cancer has now spread to lymph nodes in Jade's chest, stomach, and neck. Heartbreakingly, the young mom to Oscar, now 2, was told last month that she only has 18 months to live.

Chemo is helping to prolong her life, but Jade launched an online petition to lower the age of cervical cancer screening in the U.K. from 25 to 20 years.

As the young mother told the Daily Mail:

If the screening age had been 20, it is more than possible that I might have been diagnosed, and the cancer might not have spread.

More from The Stir: Your Annual Pap Smear May Be Changing -- And Not For the Better

Cervical cancer is one of the one most successfully treated cancers. But it needs to be caught early.

In the past 40 years, the rates of cervical cancer in the U.S. have declined steeply -- and experts believe that's because regular pap smears, which can identify precancers, are given to women here starting at age 21.

Jade's request makes excellent sense, then. And surely, health officials in the U.K. should take into account that an eerily similar fate befell another young woman last year: 24-year-old Dawn Weston was denied a pap test by her docs, too, because she wasn't "old enough." She kept fighting for the simple test, and once she got it, she found out that she did, indeed, have cervical cancer.

Dawn passed away at the age of 26.

Here's hoping that Jade's doctors will be wrong again and that she'll lead a much longer, happier life with her son than is forecast.

And that the NHS will change their policy so other women don't suffer similar fates.

As for how this directly affects us? We need to trust our bodies, go to our GYNs regularly, and sure, no one likes having a pap test -- but get one anyway. It could very well save your life.

 

Image via jadepateman/Instagram

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