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Cancer test call as mum dies aged 26

The mother of a 26-year-old Workington woman who died after an 18-month battle with cervical cancer has urged all young women to have routine tests for the disease.

Kim Briscoe
Kim Briscoe

Mum-of-two Kim Briscoe, of Garnet Crescent, Salterbeck, died on Sunday, days after doctors told her they could offer no more treatment.

The cancer was detected during her first routine cervical smear test, soon after she turned 25 in December 2009.

While the take-up of smear tests has increased, the latest figures from primary care trust NHS Cumbria for 2009-2010 showed only 78 per cent of eligible women – aged 25 to 49 – attended the vital examination.

In 2008-2009, the attendance figure was 76 per cent and in 2007-08 it was 74 per cent.

NHS Cumbria has no details about how many 25-year-olds respond to the first invitation letter.

Kim’s mum Linda said: “They have got to go and be tested. If they’d tested Kim earlier, you wonder if it would have made a difference.”

After Kim’s first smear test, further examinations led to the cancer diagnosis.

She underwent a hysterectomy, which doctors hoped would get rid of the disease, but cancer was detected in her lymph nodes, leading to seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

By January this year a growth was found on Kim’s spine and the cancer was later found to have spread.

The former Southfield School pupil was referred to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where she was given chemotherapy, which got rid of 95 per cent of the cancer.

However, tests earlier this summer showed the cancer had spread again.

Doctors last week told her she was unable to have further treatment and she died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family.

Her story bears parallels to the illness of Big Brother star Jade Goody, who died of cervical cancer in 2009, aged 27.

Kim was cared for during her illness by her partner Stee Little.

Linda said: “She went through quite a lot – she was the one who got the infections and side effects – but she never stopped smiling.

“She knew what was going to happen. She wouldn’t let anybody else get upset about it.”

Kim’s father Peter echoed Linda’s comments.

He said: “I couldn’t believe how brave she’d been.”

Kim worked in a hair salon in Whitehaven before having children Logan, nine, and Ashton, five, and was preparing to start a college course when her illness was diagnosed.

Her funeral service will take place at St Mary’s Church, Harrington, at 11am today and will include songs she chose herself – Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis, Someone Like You by Adele and Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Kim’s neighbours held a collection, raising £200 for Macmillan Cancer Care, and a donations website page set up by her sisters Kelly and Angela for the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Foundation has so far raised about £430.

Have your say

she was very brave and she was very young but she will always be our angel we will be doing race for life for other people in the same situation as she was in loveyou mammy now and forever YMTWTM xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Logan Briscoe on 25 May 2012 at 21:08

Routine smear tests should be offered to
every young girl. They are adults at such an early age and live and adult lifestyle. The care and treatment is available but one thing I have learned through Kims experience is that you have to ask and push for everything. Young girls have to get tested and have to be aware of the consequences and how fast they can cruelly end a precious life

Posted by linda briscoe on 19 September 2011 at 12:15

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