The current minimum age for smear tests in the UK is 25. Unfortunately for one British family, these laws have cost them a young family relative.
A year ago the then-18 year old Sophie Jones from Eastham started complaining of stomach pains. The medics thought she had Crohn’s disease. When Sophie, who was an aspiring model, continued having health problems, the doctors denied her smear tests because of her young age. Since there were no cervical cancer cases among women under the age of 20 in the past several years, the doctors excluded the possibility that Sophie was suffering from it. Unfortunately, by the time the girl was actually diagnosed with cervical cancer it was too late for her. The cancer had spread to a number of organs and the girl died earlier this March.
Her family has set up an online petition entitled The Sophie’s Choice. The thousands of people who have already signed it are fighting to alter the current laws and let young girls have smear tests, so that history wouldn’t repeat itself.