Cancer survivor urges women to keep smear test appointments

Janet Sinnott

Janet Sinnott looks back on her wedding photograph with her dad, Brian

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A SIMPLE test saved the life of a young Widnes woman.

Janet Sinnott was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was only 27, following routine screening.

She had surgery to remove all the cancerous cells and now, five years after being given the all-clear, she is urging Halton women to attend their smear tests.

Janet, aged 33, of Foxley Heath, said: “A simple test saved my life.

“The earlier you catch something like this, the easier it is to treat.

“If I had put it off any longer, the cancer may have spread.”

Janet had a coloscopy examination at Warrington Hospital after a smear test at her local GP surgery detected abnormal cells.

She said: “The consultant told me there were early signs of cancer. He was positive and said it was treatable. I was booked in the following morning at the Liverpool Womens Hospital.

“I can’t speak highly enough about how well I was treated. “ After initial surgery, Janet, who works in the revenue department at Halton Council, was offered a new treatment called a radical trachelectomy, which leaves patients with a 50 per cent chance of conceiving.

Janet said: “Years ago, you would have had a hysterectomy, but this gives you the chance to have children.

“I was very fortunate. I’ve just had my five year check up and I’m all cler.

“I’m living proof that early detection is vital.”

Janet married her husband, Brian, aged 31, who also works in the council’s revenue department, the following year.

Sadly, her dad, Joseph Sorvel, aged 62, died in October, 2010, from lung and bone cancer.

Janet said: “It’s a shame my dad is not here to share my news. He went through it all with me. But I know he’d be very pleased.”

Dr Janet Atherton, director of public health at NHS Merseyside, said: “Janet’s story emphasises why it is so important to have a smear test. It is a quick and pain-free test that can detect changes in teh cervic which could be an early indicator of abnormal cells, or as in Janet’s case, cancer.

“The earlier the cancer is caught, the more successful treatment is likely to be.”

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