A Forfar mum of three young children is urging others to go for regular screening after undergoing surgery for cervical cancer.
Zoe Thomson (32), who works with Angus Council, is raising awareness of cervical screening after undergoing a hysterectomy last May.
She has ordered posters to coincide with Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, which runs from January 19 to 25.
She hopes her efforts will make her female colleagues, their families and friends be more aware of looking out for the symptoms and to make a doctor’s appointment.
Following her own experience she urges all women to act immediately rather than to put off contacting the doctor.
She said: “I feel it is so important to raise awareness of cervical cancer. I went to my doctor after experiencing some symptoms. I was quite lucky in that all I needed was a hysterectomy; I didn’t need radiotherapy or chemotherapy as the cancer hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes.”
Zoe first experienced irregular bleeding last February and after visiting her G.P. she was referred to a gynaecologist at Ninewells at the end of April. A biopsy detected cancer with the diagnosis being made on May 1. Three weeks later, on May 20, Zoe had her operation.
At the time her youngest child, Fergus, was only six months old.
Now Zoe, her partner Dave and their three children Kian (nine), Rowan (three) and Fergus (one) are looking forward after what was a traumatic experience for them all.
Zoe continued: “It was good because it happened so quickly; I didn’t have time to think about it. I wasn’t up to date with my smear test, it may have been caught earlier but I can’t kick myself. But the message is, If you are due for a smear test, make sure you have it. It is only five minutes and it could save your life. If you have any of tghe symptoms - abnormal bleeding, stomach cramps, just go to the doctor.”