Cancer survivor Michelle set to launch 'honest' book about her cervical cancer journey | Latest news

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Cancer survivor Michelle set to launch 'honest' book about her cervical cancer journey

Michelle Camm present day (left) and during her treatment for cervical cancer (right)

A former cancer patient has urged women to attend their smear test appointments and to not ignore potential signs of cervical cancer ahead of World Cancer Day (4 February 2022).

45-year-old Michelle Camm, from Ilkeston, was diagnosed with stage 3c cervical cancer in July 2020 and underwent courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy before being given the all clear in March 2021.

Mother-of-two Michelle said women should cut through the stigma that surrounds cervical screening as it can potentially save your life:

“Women think it’s embarrassing but it could save your life. It’s not very pleasant but it is only a two minute check. Cancer thrives on the bashful, so be brave and get checked over. Don’t let being shy shorten your life span.”

Find out more about Michelle's journey as a cancer patient >

Michelle Camm during her treatment for cervical cancerWhile receiving treatment for her cancer, Michelle said that maintaining a positive mental attitude was key to its success:

“A healthy mental state is key, so I wanted to show cancer that I was laughing back at it and this made my days brighter - I actually viewed it as a new job, the most important job I am ever going to have as it could save my life.

“It was really hard at the start, but I just thought that if I could remain positive about it, it would help me in the long run. I would often say to myself ‘lose the hair, lose the cancer’.”

Michelle is now using her experiences to help others in a similar position by offering support to patients during their cancer journey as well as writing a book about her personal experiences.

She continued: “I have been offering to drop in and offer my support to ladies going through what I went through because I feel that it’s important to have this support but also to be honest about what lies ahead.

“My book has been my counselling and pulls on the diary I kept when I was going through my cancer treatment. It was very therapeutic for me and was good to write my feelings down.

“It will be a very honest account of what I went through as I want those who haven’t had cancer to be able to relate to what patients are having to go through.”

The book, which Michelle hopes to publish soon, will be titled ‘A Lioness: My story of cancer, courage, love and friendship’ as Michelle says she now feels “strong and powerful, like a new version of myself” despite all she has been through.

Follow Michelle's book launch journey on Instagram (opens in new window) >

Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix and typically affects sexually active women between the ages of 25 and 65, with a peak between the ages of 30 – 35. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35. Cervical screening can detect early changes which can be treated before cancer develops, so it is vital that women continue to attend their screening appointments (often referred to as smear tests) during the pandemic.

Anyone who is worried about cervical cancer symptoms should speak to their GP at the earliest possible opportunity.