Cancer survivor from Hemel Hempstead who fought for diagnosis for three years launches petition to fund a national screening programme

She wants to help fund a national gynaecological screening programme

By Olga Norford
Monday, 7th March 2022, 2:43 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2022, 2:44 pm

A woman who is recovering from cancer of the uterus, has set up a petition to fund a national gynaecological screening programme to help identify any abnormalities.

The petition, which has been published by the Government needs 10,000 signatures to get the campaign to the next stage.

Victoria Bolton, of Hemel Hempstead, said: "This has come off the back of my own experience. I was diagnosed with Uterine sarcoma cancer in September 2021 after three years of fighting to be heard by the NHS.

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Campaigner Victoria Bolton wants the government to fund a gynaecological screening programme

"It resulted in many hospital visits and blood transfusions and I was told all I had was fibroids when in actual fact it was a sarcoma tumour.

"I was rushed into A&E countless times over the years and in June last year was told by my GP I was just unlucky. I was sent away with the pill which fed my cancer, and tranexamic acid to stop my bleeding, which is a blood clotter, not a good combo with the pill, and iron tablets.

"I was eventually given an 'elective' hysterectomy. That's when they found my 8cm fibroid was actually a tumour. And I had several other fibroids.

"The issue for me was not that I expected my GP to diagnose the cancer, but to recognise I had the top five signs and refer me quickly for further investigation which didn't happen.

Victoria is a 38-year-old single mum to a seven-year-old and has a full-time career. She describes how she's 'been to hell and back' trying to be heard.

"I felt humiliated, exhausted, unheard, embarrassed, angry, frustrated and ashamed", she said.

"I also felt like an annoyance to the point where I stopped calling my GP which resulted in my haemorrhaging for the fourth time and being admitted to hospital."

Rather than complain about the NHS Victoria wanted to turn her experience into a positive. She has since spoken to many women and their stories are all the same, not necessarily resulting in cancer, but resulting in further problems and eventually leading to infertility and poor life quality, due to slow referrals and poor diagnosis.

Added Victoria: "The bottom line is women need to be taken more seriously and the process around diagnosing women's gynaecological issues needs to come away from the one size fits all package. At each stage of your life you are just pigeon-holed as a woman.

"Women feel ashamed and embarrassed to talk openly still in 2022 and I have started to have a positive impact on my own social media with women stepping forward and telling me stories about their own experiences.

"I want to start with this movement to help save time and resources and assist with early diagnosis of issues, be proactive and not reactive to save people's lives.

"I have Uterine Sarcoma, very rare and I was lucky that the primary cancer was taken when it was, it is a very aggressive cancer and I have high grade cells. There is no known cure, so I am under high surveillance with the UCLH in London for 10 years. The recurrence rate over this time is 70% or more so I am scanned bi monthly which is tough.

"But I am alive and I am so thankful. If I had of accepted the coil or taken the depo injection I would without a doubt be dead by now.

"I need as much support as possible to reach 10k signatures. I feel so passionate about this and I want to help women be heard."

For further details and to sign the petition visit the government website