Dee Standley My battle with cervical cancer 2009: Tuesday 17

Dee Standley My battle with cervical cancer

Tuesday, 17 February 2009 Happy outcome: cervical cancer survivor Dee Standley with her son, Findlay, at home in London When news of Kylie Minogue's

breast cancer surgery was splashed on newspaper front pages all over the world four years ago, some breast cancer surgeons expressed concern that such blanket coverage might cause anxiety and even trigger cancer phobia. In the event, the impact was overwhelmingly positive. Within two weeks of Kylie's op, the number of women presenting for screening for the first time had risen by 40 per cent in the UK &8211 and the numbers stayed high as the pop singer returned to glowing health. Now, however, experts are anxiously assessing the likely impact of Jade Goody's high-profile experience of terminal cervical cancer and the Big Brother star's fund-raising plans to wed and then die in the public eye. It couldn't be more crucial. With a persistent increase in rates of infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) that leads to cervical cancer, attendance for cervical screening is at an all-time low. Screening for this cancer saves hundreds of lives every year as long as women turn for screening. Yet last year a million women, more than one in five of those invited for screening, didn't bother keeping the appointment &8211 with one in three of these in the 25 to 29 age group. "I do hope her plight will encourage other women, but I fear it may not," says Dee Standley, director of the life-coaching group AspireNLP and herself a survivor of cervical cancer. "I would love there to be a positive spin on Goody's story, whatever happens to her. But I worry that it could have the effect of driving more women into denial about cancer." At 37, Standley is 10 years older than Goody, but has had "frighteningly" similar experiences of cancer. Like Goody, who was admitted to hospital four times with unexplained pain and sent home with painkillers, Standley suffered unexplained illness in the run-up to her diagnosis. She on a US business trip in 2004 when she collapsed and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. "I had everything going for me the six-figure salary, the sports car and all the trappings. I was slim and athletic, I'd swim before work and then go to the gym in the evening. I was also travelling most weeks. And for all the glamour, my immune system was suddenly unable to cope."

Even so, there were several times during the treatment that Standley's prognosis seemed as bleak as Goody's has proved. After the first of three colposcopies &8211 internal investigations that assess and treat the abnormal cells &8211 Standley was told the cancer cells had penetrated the wall of her cervix into the neck of the womb. "It meant that I had to have very severe surgery, removing almost the whole of the neck of the cervix."

Read more...

Search For More Articles Related to:

Dee Standley My battle with cervical cancer

Related Articles:

Charity News