HUNTINGDON: Cancer woman’s battle to become a mum

A CANCER victim who battled against the odds to become a mum for the second time was among the families taking part in a charity walk in Huntingdon this month.

When Emmeline Collin was told she would have to return for further tests after abnormalities were found during a routine smear test, she was not worried.

At the time, the bank worker from Whittlesey felt perfectly healthy and was trying for another baby with husband Dave. But tests revealed a tumour in the neck of her womb which if untreated could have spread.

Pioneering surgery not only saved Emmeline’s life but meant she was able to try for another baby, and less than a year after being diagnosed she fell pregnant.

Now the mother of two is encouraging other women to undergo regular smear tests. The test is available to all women aged 25 to 49 every three years and is designed to pick up potentially cancerous abnormal cells in the cervix.

Emmeline, 34 was one of a dozen women who took part in a walk around Hinchingbrooke Park earlier this month for cervical cancer Jo’s Trust.

She said: “It is no exaggeration to say if I had not gone for that test, I would not be here now. It is why I support Jo’s Trust now, so I can encourage other women to go for their screening.

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“Typically women with the size of tumour I had, suffer bleeding between periods or pain before or after intercourse, but I had no symptoms.

“On being told I had abnormalities, I was not worried because a lot of people who I know have had the same, but following further investigation, I was told I had a tumour in my cervix and it was quite serious.”

Instead of a hysterectomy in which all of the womb is removed, Emmeline opted to have just her cervix removed in a new treatment being pioneered at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Emmeline and David, who already have daughter Lucy, were still warned the op would mean their chances of having another child were slimmer.

However just three months after being given the green light, Emmeline fell pregnant. Evie was born last November.

“I was subject to intensive monitoring because there was a risk of early miscarriage. I was at Addenbrooke’s every week for various scans and tests.

“I had internal scans between weeks 20 to 29, and then I had to take it very easy. The baby could not be left any later than 36 weeks and I could not deliver naturally, so I had to have a caesarean.

“Evie was born on November 4. She is a real gift. It is just wonderful. We were so close to bad stuff happening.

“[The smear test] is freely available and so many people do not take it up. For five minutes of a little bit of embarrassment or discomfort, it is so worth while doing.”

Jo’s Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. It offers information, support and friendship.

Walk organiser Kelly Fryer of Huntingdon will be cycling 400km ride across the country in aid of Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Trust, later this year.

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