Interview 91

Diagnosed with cervical cancer (Stage 1B squamous cell) in 1994. Radical Trachelectomy (first woman in UK to have a Radical Trachelectomy). 2 successful pregnancies after treatment.

She had an abnormal cervical smear test, followed by a colposcopy which showed that she had an invasive form of cervical cancer. She was devastated when she got the diagnosis as she didn’t feel that there was any warning that something was wrong. Her initial treatment plan was to have a hysterectomy, but she didn’t have any children when she was first diagnosed, and had been hoping to start a family at the time.

Following discussion with the oncologists looking after her, she had a treatment called a radical trachelectomy (surgical removal of the cervix but not the uterus) which had been trialled in France previously, but never been performed before in the UK. She was very relieved to have the trachelectomy as it meant her reproductive ability was still intact, and felt very much involved in the discussions about deciding the course of her treatment. The after effects of the operation were not too bad, though she did experience some discomfort that was similar to period pain. She has not experienced any other long-term physical side effects from the surgery and felt she was back to normal a few months after the operation.

The Macmillan nurse involved in her care was very supportive, and kept her informed of what was going on. She felt that she could pick up the phone and call her anytime for help or advice. The nurse was able to give her all the support she needed and she didn’t need any other sources of advice or information.

She had a son a year after her trachelectomy and now also has a 9 month old daughter. Both pregnancies were delivered via caesarean. She feels that she now lives life normally, and having had cervical cancer is part of the past.

Her advice to others is not to overdo things, take your time, and be positive. She also feels it is important for women not to be frightened about asking for a second opinion and making their wishes about their future clear at the onset.

She sought a 2nd opinion about the need for a hysterectomy for her cervical cancer and had a…

Age at interview 39

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 31