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Article date - 15 June 2017
As part of cervical screening awareness week (12-18 June), local lady Angelica Fenney, aged 39, has shared her story of going through cervical cancer and the importance of smear tests.
Angelica, from Parr, said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 17. Alongside the treatment I had regular smear tests. This test found an abnormality and my consultant asked to see me. My sister came with me for support. When I was told I had cervical cancer, and the only way to treat it was through a full hysterectomy. I couldn’t comprehend, I was only 27 and I didn’t know anything about cervical cancer.
“I just started crying and I left, I went to Norfolk carrying on with work, pretending that it wasn’t happening to me, but soon enough I broke down and I decided to have the hysterectomy. I was only given a 40% survival rate. The most upsetting thing about having the hysterectomy is the fact that I can’t have children, and they weren’t able to save any of my eggs. But without it, I wouldn’t be here today.
“My sister was definitely a big support, and what’s spurred me on is supporting cancer charities and then setting my own up with my friend Karen who’s also been through cancer. Our charity is called Bike for Boobs and we do a lot of cycling activities like spinathons to raise money for people’s cancer treatment, but we also raise awareness of different cancers.
“I did lose my confidence, especially when it came to my modelling career; I couldn’t face it - but then I got involved with Models of Diversity and that really boosted my confidence and I’m now modelling again.
“I think smear tests are so important. If I had ignored mine I wouldn’t be here today. I would say to all ladies out there who have received their invite, go do it, it only takes five minutes, and it might feel a bit embarrassing, but I’m sure there are things that are more embarrassing than that, and it could potentially save your life.”
For more information about cervical cancer and smear tests, please visit the Jo’s Trust website
Picture caption.... Angelica (right) with friend Karen Jarvis, with whom she set up charity Bike for Boobs to raise money for other people’s cancer treatment.
Photo credit: Stephen Sheridan