CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan reveals her cancer is progressing
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CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan reveals her cancer is progressing

CERVICALCHECK ACTIVIST and campaigner Vicky Phelan has revealed her cancer is growing again.

Ms Phelan famously brought the Health Service Executive to court for the mishandling of hundreds of smear tests which resulted in at least 221 women wrongly being told their smear tests were clear.

She herself was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer a number of years ago, but while there is  no cure her cancer has not progressed for some time.

Taking to Twitter yesterday afternoon however, she revealed her cancer is again progressing-- "slowly, thankfully".

Admitting that she had been "holding off" on sharing the sad news, she said "I needed the time to absorb this news and for my family [and] friends to absorb it too".

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"In addition to growth in three tumours, I have developed a new (tiny - 3mm) tumour in my lung," Ms Phelan wrote on Twitter.

"I knew this day would come, and that [drug] Pembro would stop keeping all of my tumours at bay," she said, but said she was "so very glad" she fought to be able to be treated with Pembro.

"It has given me almost 3 years of a quality of life I could never have hoped for on chemotherapy."

Vicky Phelan has fought valiantly for the protections of those affected by the CervicalCheck scandal, which wrongly told at least 221 women their smear tests were clear (Vicky Phelan / Twitter)

She added that she is continuing to research further options, and said that apart from "bouts of extreme tiredness" she is not experiencing any other symptoms at the moment.

"I will continue to campaign with the [221+] for a Tribunal that meets the needs of the women and families affected by the [CervicalCheck] scandal because one of our main asks centres on providing for women who suffer a recurrence, like me," she added.

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Speaking about the support group for women and their families affected by the CervicalCheck failure, and the continued fight for support from the Government, Ms Phelan continued:

"This cancer is NOT curable. It affects primarily young women with families.

"The State admitted failing these women in a State apology last year, they undertook to provide an alternative to the High Court for women & families affected to right the wrongs that have been visited on them through the failings of CervicalCheck.

Vicky Phelan with her award for her memoir 'Overcoming' (Credit: An Post Irish Book Awards)

"The State, through Minister [Stephen Donnelly] must do the RIGHT thing by these women & families.

"Listen to our concerns and address the needs of the women & families with grace and compassion.

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"Honour those who have already passed away including Ruth, Emma, Orla, Julie and stop the cycle of protecting the State or you will fail these women a second time."

Ms Phelan has preciously campaigned in favour of the Dying With Dignity Bill, which has passed the first hurdle in Government.

The Bill, should it be written into law, has the potential to introduce assisted dying in Ireland for terminally ill people over the age of 18.

Speaking at the launch of the Bill outside the gates of Leinster House last month, Ms Phelan said "I never want my children to see me dying.

"I want to be able to make that choice when the time comes ... the last couple of weeks of my life."

Ms Phelan's memoir, which includes the story of her smear result which was wrongly returned clear, her fight against the HSE and the other 220 women affected by the scandal, was depicted in a book about her life titled Overcoming-- you can learn more here.

 

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