Death of young Oldbury mum sparks calls for more smear testing

Halesowen News: Jess Evans with her mum Marie. Jess Evans with her mum Marie.

A GRIEVING Oldbury mum, whose 22-year-old daughter died from cervical cancer, is fighting for young women to have the right to have a smear test.

Current guidelines prevent women under 25 from having the test which Jessica Evans was refused nine times despite being in severe pain.

Her mum, Marie Evans, said her daughter had begged for the test and her dying wish was that others should be given the opportunity she was denied.

Jessica – known affectionately by her mum as Jess Doll – lost her year-long battle with the disease in February, leaving behind her two-year-old son Riley and fiancé Jamie.

Her family and friends have launched the Justice for Jess campaign, calling on the NHS to “treat the symptoms not the age”.

They are urging people to sign an e-petition for the lowering of the age of routine screening to 16 or allowing young women with symptoms to have a smear test.

Miss Evans, aged 46, tells her daughter’s story on the campaign’s Facebook page: “Jess doll was a wonderful, light hearted, generous, loving, beautiful young lady who loved life to the full, never complaining, never had a bad word to say about anyone and loved her family, partner and son.”

Miss Evans added: “In April 2013 Jessica was diagnosed with cervical cancer after nine trips to her GP asking and begging for a smear and to be checked upon. GPs failed her and so has the system.”

But the Department of Health said the guidelines were in place because there was a one in three chance of a false positive result in under 25s, causing anxiety and leading to unnecessary investigations.

In a statement it said: “A cervical screening test is a population screening test, not a diagnostic test and is, therefore, not appropriate for women with symptoms.”

A series of fundraising events have been launched in Jessica’s memory, including a fun day at the Perrhyhill Tavern in July to raise money for a memorial bench and a trust fund for Riley.

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