Woman, 23, dies of cervical cancer after being told not to worry 15 times
A young woman begged her GP for a smear test but was dismissed 15 times before she died of cervical cancer.
Emma Swain, then 22, began experiencing worrying symptoms in 2013 but was told she was too young to worry about the possibility of cancer.
A doctor insisted she was suffering only from the "Jade Goody effect" and blamed her symptoms on the contraceptive pill she was taking, Mirror Online reports.
Less than a year later Emma was dead, and her GP has since admitted if she had been given a smear test, she would probably still be alive.
"To have watched one of your children go through that and to know it could have been prevented is incredibly hard to accept," dad Darren said.
"We trusted these people – the professionals – to know what they were doing. I'll never forgive them."
Emma first asked her doctor for a smear test in May 2013 after experiencing back pain and bleeding after sex. But her request was refused because cervical screening is only offered to women over 25.
Emma's GP said she was unduly concerned by the "Jade Goody effect" after the reality TV star, who died of cervical cancer at the unusually young age of 27 in 2009.
Darren, 51, said: "Basically, he told her she was worrying over nothing. He couldn't have been more wrong. It cost Emma her life."
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Over the next four months, Emma contacted her GP another 14 times – but was merely advised to swap her brand of pill five times.
She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December 2013 and died aged 23 the following October.
In a letter to dad-of-three Darren – who has been awarded compensation after a six-year battle – Dr Stephen Golding, Dr Hendrik Parmentier and practice nurse Maureen Dillon from The Haling Park Partnership in Croydon, South London, apologised for what happened to Emma.
They wrote: "We admit that if the care and treatment provided to your daughter had been of a reasonable standard, on the balance of probabilities, she would have survived."
A spokesperson for the surgery added: "Since Emma's death, the practice has reviewed its processes to ensure lessons have been learned."
Last year, one in five women missed a smear test – and around 600,000 appointments were cancelled during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
"I want Emma's story to make women go to their screening exam," Darren said.
"Don't put off getting symptoms checked because of the pandemic."
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