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Posted on: 23.01.12

Cervical cancer prevention week: Jan 22 - 28

Pat Marsden

A Huddersfield woman who asked surgeons to save her womb during treatment for cervical cancer is now the proud of mum of a second baby son.

Joanna Tatlock's cancer was discovered during the routine post-birth smear after her first son, Jacob, was born in 2007. 

She underwent more tests at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) then before her surgery to remove the cancer at St James's in Leeds she asked surgeons not to perform a full hysterectomy if it was medically possible so she may still have the chance of having more children.

And now little Joshua,now 18 months, born by emergency caesarean and after a complicated pregnancy due to Joanna’s illness, has made her family complete.

Joanna, 30, from Golcar, is backing the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust which this week - as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week - is urging women not to miss their smear tests.

She said: "A smear test saved my life and means I am now a mum of two with a lovely family and everything to live for. It is a few minutes which could make all the difference. I owe my future to it and, of course, all the care which followed at HRI and in Leeds."

Joanna's cancer was diagnosed as an aggressive one and it was feared that surgeons might have had to perform a full hysterectomy.

She added: "I talked it all through and weighed everything up with my husband Daniel and we took the decision that, if possible, we wanted the chance to have another child and we are now very, very happy and very proud to have our two sons."

The Trust’s specialist nurse for gynaecological cancers, Pat Marsden, said:  Cervical cancer can be amongst the most difficult to detect – but is treatable if found early. Attending for routine smear testing is essential and a potential life-saver, as treatment for early changes can be given before a cancer develops. Early detection as in all gynaecological cancers is key to successful treatment and long term survival.”

Fact file: 

  • Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is organised by Jo’s Trust. For more information contact www.jostrust.org.uk which offers information, support and friendship to women of all ages, to help them to understand the importance of cervical screening
  • 2,800 new cases every year are diagnosed
  • It is the second most common cancer in women under 35
  • 20 per cent of women do not take up their screening appointments