Former pop star and TV personality Michelle Heaton has been extremely open about how her life changed forever after she discovered she was carrying the BRCA2 gene, which gave her an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 30 percent chance of ovarian cancer.
Mum-of-two Heaton made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy and an ovariectomy to ensure she remained cancer free and alive to watch her children grow up.
Throughout her ordeal she spent a huge amount of time encouraging women to take the necessary steps to ensure their own safety by being aware of the early warning signs of cancer. It’s a sensitive subject and you’d expect the NHS to bear that in mind too.
But when Heaton received a letter about cervical screening from the NHS the tone definitely wasn’t sensitive.
“We have been advised that your name should be removed from the list of women eligible for cervical screening. This is because your medical records indicate that you do not have, or no longer have, a cervix,” it read.
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After sharing a screenshot of the letter on her Instagram account Heaton got an outpouring of support from her fans.
Heaton is lucky to have a daughter, 4-year-old Faith, and a son, 15-month-old Aaron Jay, but what about the women who have to undergo such drastic preventative measures who don’t have kids? A letter like this would be even more of a slap in the face.
There’s no excuse for health professionals to use language like this when writing to women who are no longer able to have children. As Heaton says a little human emotion behind the words would go a long way.