Changes to smear test programme demanded as mum of young Portsmouth woman who died from cervical cancer calls for age to be brought down to 16

A MUM is calling for smear tests to be available for girls from the age of 16 after her young daughter passed away from cancer just days after diagnosis.

Monday, 28th March 2022, 3:06 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 3:06 pm

Porsche McGregor-Sims, an event manager who lived at Walsingham Close in Portsmouth, tragically died at the age of 27 after developing stage four cervical cancer.

Before her diagnosis, Porsche was seen in January of 2020 - a few months before her death on April 14 - by Dr Peter Schlesinger, a locum gynaecologist for nine weeks at QA.

During a three-day inquest into her death, Porsche's family raised questions over actions during this appointment.

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Porsche McGregor-Sims (middle) with mum Fiona Hawke (top), and sisters Tempest (bottom) and Pippin (right) at Camp Bestival

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While the coroner found Porsche’s death to be the result of natural causes, the young woman’s mum Fiona Hawke is calling for changes to the cervical screening programme.

Speaking to ITV, Fiona said: ‘We need to open up the cervical screening programme to girls down to 16.

‘We need to get rid of this ridiculous rule that says that if you've had one smear test you can't have another one until your next one is due.

‘We need to understand that this is a disease that can affect young women of any age.’

Cervical screenings are currently open to people from the age of 25 until they turn 64.

In her interview with ITV, Fiona said: ‘Porsche had been waiting for an appointment for several weeks, and she was hoping it would finally give her some clarification on what was wrong with her and what had been going wrong with her body for two years.

‘When she got to the appointment, she saw a man who talked over her a lot, didn't listen to her, called her GP an idiot, dismissed her concerns, and sent her away with a diagnosis for something she had already been assessed for.

‘She came out no more reassured and with no clearer understanding of what was going on than when she went in.’

At Porsche’s inquest, the coroner said that evidence showed that while 'earlier diagnosis would have given the more time for the family to prepare', it 'would not have altered the outcome'.

However, Porsche’s family said that any further time to prepare for her death would have made an ‘immeasurable’ difference to them all.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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