A young woman who was refused a smear test by her GP 15 times died of cervical cancer just a year later. 

Emma Swain, 23, was told she was overreacting due to the ‘Jade Goody effect’ after she experienced symptoms of the fatal disease and begged for help. 

Doctors said she was too young for the test – which is routinely given to women aged over 25 – but now admit she would probably still be alive if they had carried out the simple check. 

Emma was just 23 when she died in October 2014 and had been suffering from back pain and bleeding after sex but her GP in Croydon, South London merely told her to change her contraceptive pill. 



The surgery has since apologised to her father, Darren, and he has been awarded compensation after a six year battle. 

The grieving dad, 51, told The Mirror: ‘To have watched one of your children go through that and to know it could have been ­prevented is ­incredibly hard to ­accept.

‘We trusted these people – the professionals – to know what they were doing. I’ll never forgive them.’  

He added: ‘Basically, he told her she was worrying over nothing. He couldn’t have been more wrong. It cost Emma her life.’

The NHS encourages all women aged 25 to 49 to get screened for cervical cancer every three years, and all those aged 50 to 64 every five years.

Around 3,200 women are diagnosed with the disease every year, or eight every day, according to Cancer Research UK.

Reality star Jade Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008 after she missed an appointment to get abnormal cells removed. The cancer spread to her bowel, liver and groin and she died in 2009. 

400,000 more women elected to have a smear test in the wake of the tragedy but numbers are down again this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

An estimated quarter of a million women are overdue their cervical smear tests because appointments have been delayed or due to fears about going to hospital during the virus outbreak. 

Emma’s GPs, The Haling Park Partnership, say its reviewed its practices since her death to ‘ensure lessons have been learnt.’

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