Fakenham woman’s mission to raise awareness of cervical screening

Kayleigh Hanlon organised a charity ball to help raise awareness of cervical cancer. She is pictured

Kayleigh Hanlon organised a charity ball to help raise awareness of cervical cancer. She is pictured with some of the raffle prizes. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A mother-of-two from Fakenham is fighting back against a life-changing diagnosis by helping to raise awareness of the importance of going for a vital routine test.

Kayleigh Hanlon, 25, was first invited to attend her cervical screening in August 2017.

'At first I put it off for a week as I was a little nervous but finally I took the plunge and booked my appointment,' she said.

'On the day of my appointment I walked into my doctor's and I was very nervous and nearly walked out.

'I was on my own - I would highly suggest taking a close friend or relative - but the nurse was so nice and went through everything with me. I felt much better.

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'The whole thing took less than five minutes and it was painless too. For me it didn't hurt at all.'

Two weeks later, Miss Hanlon, who now lives in Norwich, received the news she had be fearing.

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'I received that phone call to tell me I had cervical abnormalities and would need to be transferred to hospital for a colposcopy.

'I broke down in tears. I automatically thought it would be cancer. I did so much research and my first port of call was the charity, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. I started talking to other women who were going through the same thing and it was reassuring.'

A week later Miss Hanlon had a colposcopy - a procedure to look at the cervix in detail - and due to visible cell changes, a biopsy was taken to rule out cancer. Unfortunately, the biopsy revealed precancerous cells and a year later they have developed into a higher grade.

Recently she had LLETZ treatment - a large loop excision of the transformation zone which involves removing the abnormal cells - and is currently recovering from the treatment and awaiting her results.

But undeterred from her mission to help other women, she has been organising a number of fundraisers to raise awareness and has also created a Facebook page - Cervical Screening (smear test help & questions) - for other women, and their loved ones, to find support and help.

She is hosting a Halloween disco at Fakenham Town Football Club, on Clipbush Lane, on October 27, from 7.30pm until 1am.

Tickets are £3 from Gatsby's hairdressers on Bridge Street, Fakenham.

The event is for people aged 16 and above. It will raise money for Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, It's On the Ball, which supports men with testicular cancer, and Rape Crisis.

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