MORE than 145,000 people have backed a campaign to lower the age of cervical screening after a Wirral teenager was refused the test that could have saved her life.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie Jones, from Eastham, lost her fight with the disease on Saturday morning after being diagnosed in November.
Medical professionals told the aspiring model at she was too young to have contracted cervical cancer and put her severe stomach pains down to Crohn’s disease.
But when the former South Wirral High School student was admitted to hospital when her condition worsened, they discovered the cancer had already spread.
Sophie’s family and friends have since started a petition to lower the age of cervical screening, collecting 147,115 signatures since it was started on Saturday, meaning the issue could now be discussed in Parliament.
The lower age limit for routine testing in England is 25 but family friend Pamela Keelan, who started The Sophie’s Choice online petition, hopes to change that.
On the petition, Pamela said: “A friend and amazing young girl, our Sophie has had her life cut short after experiencing symptoms for over a year and being in horrendous pain and even asking for a smear but because of her age, was refused time and time again.
"Sophie has been failed in the worst way.”
Sophie first went to doctors about her stomach cramps in February 2013 but was refused a smear test because cervical cancer is so rare among women of her age.
No-one under 20 died from the disease between 2009 and 2011 according to figures from Cancer Research UK, meaning Sophie is one of the youngest women to die from the cancer.
The age limit was reviewed by ministers five years ago after Jade Goody contracted cervical cancer.
You can sign the petition here: submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62385