Cervical cancer survivor from St Austell urges others to get smear tests

5 minute read
Cervical cancer survivor from St Austell urges others to get smear tests

Published at 6:26am 8th July 2020. (Updated at 3:05pm 9th July 2020)

A woman from St Austell has revealed how she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, had surgery and has been given the all clear... all during lockdown.

Leanne Blackler had no pain or symptoms but was diagnosed after a routine smear test.

The 31-year-old had open surgery in June and had a Radical Hysterectomy.

Just under a month later she was told the operation had been successful and has been given the all clear.

Now she is urging other women to bare the few minutes of discomfort and attend their cervical screenings.

leanne blackler cervical cancer

Leanne told Pirate FM how the staff at Treliske saved her life.

"I just wasn't expecting it all, I had no symptoms, there was nothing to indicate that diagnosis, it was a lot to take in at a very unexpected time, especially with Covid and lockdown, it was all done over the telephone, my husband was at work and I was home alone.

"When the doctor told me over the phone I wasn't really taking it in, and at the end of the call I had to say 'I just need to get this straight in my mind are you telling me I have cervical cancer?' and the doctor said 'Yes I'm so sorry to tell you over the phone but yes you do have cervical cancer'. They use all these words that you don't necessarily know what they mean.

"I broke down because I just couldn't believe what was being said. The first thing I could think to do was get to my family and get to my mum.

"It was frightening because you weren't just worried about having this illness that you were just completely unaware of, but also the worry of you need to go into the hospital and there is a likelihood that you could catch Covid at the same time, which is an added worry on top of what you're already going through."

Leanne Blackler

leanne blackler cervical cancer

Leanne posted her story on Facebook, which has already had hundreds of shares, comments and interactions.

She wrote: "On the 7th May 2020 I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer

"On the 9th June 2020 the NHS performed life saving open surgery,

"I had a Radical Hysterectomy at 31 years old.

"The 1st July 2020 is one of the best days of my life..... Today I have officially been declared CANCER FREE!!!!

"I am so thankful to the amazing team at Treliske for saving my life!

"One thing they told me that I cannot forget is this: 'You played a part in saving your own life, you went to your smear tests regularly'

"I had no pain, no symptoms, no idea of the danger I was in.

"PLEASE LADIES if you have been avoiding your smear test, avoid it no longer. The few minutes of discomfort are nothing compared to what could happen.

"I had to share this with you all because we don't talk about Cervical Cancer enough. I cannot help but to think about how different this story could have been had I not gone to my smear tests.

"I have to thank my amazing husband, family and close friends that have supported me every single step of the way! You all have no idea how much your support got me over every hurdle! The scans, The surgery, The recovery … it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions.

"This has been one hell of a crazy year …. but today is a day I will NEVER forget.........I am officially Cancer free!!!!!

"Please, please, please share this story.

"If reading this helps one person. Makes just one person book that test they have been avoiding its 100% worth sharing!

"Play a part in saving your own life, book that smear test!"

Leanne Blacker

leanne blackler cervical cancer


The symptoms of cervical cancer are not always obvious, and it may not cause any at all until it's reached an advanced stage.

This is why it's very important to you attend all your cervical screening appointments.

Unusual bleeding

In most cases, abnormal vaginal bleeding is the first noticeable symptom of cervical cancer.

This includes bleeding:

  • during or after sex
  • between your periods
  • after you have been through the menopause

Visit your GP for advice if you experience any type of abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Other symptoms

Other symptoms of cervical cancer may include pain and discomfort during sex, unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge, and pain in your lower back or pelvis.

Advanced cervical cancer

If the cancer spreads out of your cervix and into surrounding tissue and organs, it can trigger a range of other symptoms, including:

When to seek medical advice

You should contact your GP if you experience:

Vaginal bleeding is very common and can have a wide range of causes, so it does not necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. However, unusual vaginal bleeding needs to be investigated by your GP.

Source: NHS

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