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By Kevin Unitt Tuesday 08 January 2013 Updated: 17/01 09:09
A MUM has spoken of the vital importance of early diagnosis after she ignored her symptoms and her cancer spread and became incurable.
Kate Tonner from Stratford was told she had cervical cancer two years ago but had initially avoided smear tests as she found them embarrassing.
The 32-year-old believes the delay in visiting a GP cost her the chance to have the cancer tackled before it spread and she is now on a mission to promote the importance of early diagnosis in others.
The former police community support officer and now full-time mum to eight-year-old daughter Grace, said: “The one thing that fills me with regret is that I didn’t go to the doctor sooner.
“I’d been bleeding between my periods for nearly a year before I mentioned it, and I always avoided my smear tests. Eventually I spoke to my husband and he persuaded me to go to the GP.
“Now I tell all my friends to go for their smear tests, and to go to the doctor and get any unusual symptoms checked out. An early diagnosis can make all the difference.”
A year ago Kate discovered just how true that statement was when doctors revealed that her cancer had spread. She was told she could have treatment to shrink the cancer and prolong her life, but that a cure was not possible.
She and fiancé Ian were even advised to bring forward their planned wedding and they married in December last year with Grace as a bridesmaid.
She added: “If I hadn’t been so embarrassed and so afraid of what the doctor might say, my cancer might have been discovered before it spread.
“None of us know how long we have to live, so our job is just to get on with living the best, healthiest life possible while we’re here to enjoy it.”
Visit twww.cancerresearchuk.org/tesco for more information a Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s early diagnosis awareness campaign
Cancer Research UK’s can be contacted on freephone 0808 800 4040.
* PEOPLE affected by cancer in Stratford are now able to get support and information on the high street for the first time thanks to an innovative partnership between Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Lisa Dadswell is one of over 1,000 specially trained Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists (BMIP) across the country providing advice on a one-to-one basis, and helping to signpost to other local services that they may need from their local Boots store.
Lisa has been a qualified pharmacist for over 17 years, and worked as a Boots pharmacist at the Maybird Centre in the for 12 of those. She was motivated to become a BMIP this year following her father’s own cancer diagnosis in 2011.
Visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 00 00 for more details on the scheme.
Kate Tonner has urged others to visit their GP early. (s)
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