The call for Amber's Law needs to be louder if more young women are to beat cervical cancer
The calls to make cervical cancer screening more readily available for young women have been growing louder for some time now.
The tragic circumstances leading up to the death of Amber Rose Cliff served to make those calls deafening in Sunderland.
Here was a young woman who feared the worst repeatedly being denied a cancer screening because she was too young.
She went to the doctors on at least 10 occasions but, her family have told us but was told she was too young for a smear test. They paid for private treatment which revealed the news they were dreading.
Amber was 21 when she was diagnosed and just 25 when she died.
Her death sparked the Amber’s Law campaign which, on one hand, wants to see the law changed to make screening available to young women presenting more than once with potential problems, and on the other, to highlight the importance of testing in tackling this cancer.
It will come as no surprise to learn that the campaign has gathered huge support.
An online petition demanding change has attracted more than 334,000 names.
What will come as a surprise is the news that the take up of cervical checks on the NHS are at a 20-year low.
Anecdotally, there is confidence that Amber’s story has encouraged many women to take the test who might not have in the past, but the overall statistics are a worrying read.
A research project trying to identify the reasons behind the poor response has been backed by Amber’s family and deserves all our support.
Amber’s legacy has been to save lives and the call to arms has been loud ... it needs to be louder.
To add your name to the Amber’s Law petition click here