Mother dies of undiagnosed cervical cancer after doctors mistake it for pregnancy complications
“People need to know pregnant women can get cervical cancer too. The signs were all there but dismissed as pregnancy symptoms and I'm afraid that has cost me my life.”
When Samantha first began exhibiting from bleeding and cramping, her doctors thought thought they were only complications due to her second pregnancy.
“I felt strongly that something was very wrong,” she had said. “I'd never experienced anything like it with my first pregnancy. I must have gone to hospital bleeding at least ten times only to be told nothing was wrong.”
Eventually she had to trust that her doctors and midwives knew what they were doing, and she believed them saying everything was okay.
Premature labour at 26 weeks
Samantha went into premature labor at 26 week, and it was only then that her cervical cancer was discovered.
She gave up her house and sold her car and some of the children's toys to raise the money to pay for her life-prolonging cancer treatment in Mexico. At first she responded well to the treatment, but on her trip back, she developed lung infection and died a few days later.
Sharing her story before she died, Samantha said: “People need to know pregnant women can get cervical cancer too. The signs were all there but dismissed as pregnancy symptoms and I'm afraid that has cost me my life.”
Many women with early stage cervical cancer experience no symptoms at all, so Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse, stresses the importance of attending routine cervical smear test.
"Screening allows any abnormal cell changes to be picked up before they can develop into cancer."
Recognized symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Abnormal bleeding: after or during sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post menopausal bleeding, if you are not on HRT or have stopped it for six weeks
- Unusual and/or unpleasant vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sex
- Lower back pain
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