Could you imagine being denied a medical test you requested all due to your age?
For poor Sorcha Glenn, this was more than just a hypothetical situation, it was a true healthcare crisis.
Sorcha had a family history of cervical cancer and was denied a pap smear because she was under the age of 25.
According to the American Cancer Society, a majority of cervical cancer cases are found in women who are between the ages of 20 and 50.
It’s rare for a person to develop it prior to the age of 25, so they typically won’t screen patients in that age bracket even though the pap smear has drastically reduced cervical cancer deaths over the past few years.
Glenn – who was only 22 at the time – requested a smear test in June of 2013 since she had a family history of cervical cancer. At this time, she was denied.
Just two months later, she was experiencing bleeding between periods and back pain. She returned and was given a smear test which revealed a mass of tissue on her cervix.
In September, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Thirteen months after her diagnosis, she unfortunately lost her battle at the young age of 23.
This isn’t the only case like this either.
Many are now petitioning to give women in their early 20s access to smear testing on request because of cases like these. Sorcha’s mom Christina urged everyone to sign the petition by stating, “I hope that by sharing Sorcha’s story that other women look out for the symptoms of cervical cancer and sign her petition so those under 25-years-old can get a smear test on demand.“