Woman, 29, gets cervical cancer all-clear after lockdown shock

Leanne Shields take up cervical screening test plea

Leanne Shields says she has a new outlook on life after surviving cervical cancer. - Credit: Leanne Shields

A woman has told of her relief at getting the all-clear after being diagnosed with cervical cancer during lockdown.

Leanne Shields said being handed the news on her birthday in October and her subsequent treatment had given her a new outlook on life and an enthusiasm to "get out there and live it". 

The 29-year-old, who is encouraging women to take up their cervical smear invite, said she was proud of how she had handled the last eight months but now wanted to "close the book and begin a new chapter".

Miss Shields, from Burgh Castle, is now infertile and going through the menopause as a result of treatment and has become a passionate advocate for the NHS screening programme which could have picked up abnormalities in her cervix had she attended.

The latest round of scans showed her 7cm tumour had shrunk to "next to nothing" and that after a final check in August she would just need to be kept an eye on.

Leanne Shields with her sister Charlie

Leanne Shields out with a friend. She says she is ready to start a new chapter in her life after recovering from cervical cancer. - Credit: Leanne Shields

Although there was always a chance of it coming back she said she was determined not to live in fear and to go forward with a new spirit of adventure.

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"I feel over the moon," she said.

Leanne Shields, 29, is urging women to take up cervical screening

Leanne Shields, 29, says the realities of having cervical cancer left her feeling so ill and low that she didn't want to go on. She has shared her experience to encourage other women to take up their screening test. - Credit: Leanne Shields

"My consultant told me I had a really great response to all the treatment and that once I feel myself again I can go back to work.

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"Fingers crossed it won't re-occur but you can never say never.

"It has opened my eyes. I just want to live life, and to go out and do things. Life is just too short and if anything did happen again I would want to be able to say I did the best I could.

Leanne Shields is ready to start living a new life after cervical cancer

Leanne Shields is ready to embark on new adventures after surviving cancer. She has signed up for the Cancer Research Race for Life and wants to learn to drive. - Credit: Leanne Shields

"It is always going to be in the back of my mind but I have to teach myself to think that if it does come back it is just something I am going to have to deal with.

"I have become a lot stronger through having cancer."

She hailed the support of her oncologist Dr Biswas and also her sister Charlie.

Leanne Shields with her sister Charlie.

Leanne Shields with her sister Charlie. The sisters have grown closer since she was diagnosed with cervical cancer - one of the few positives to come from the bombshell. - Credit: Leanne Shields

She has now signed up for the Cancer Research Race for Life and wants to learn to drive.

It is estimated that screening saves around 4,500 lives a year in England, by picking up the early signs of cancer before symptoms are felt.

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