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Family left heartbroken after mum-of-three told she was 'too young' for cancer diagnosis

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A mum-of-three was left devastated when she was diagnosed with cancer after claiming doctors initially fobbed her off by saying she was “too young” to have the disease. Emma Clarke was told her unusual symptom of abnormal bleeding was the result of her IUD contraception becoming “misaligned”. Emma said she felt reassured by health professionals who told her she was “too young for it to be anything else”.

But the 31-year-old decided to speak to a specialist after her symptoms worsened.

Speaking to the ECHO, Emma’s partner David Rice, known as Dava, 33, about her diagnosis, he said: “It started a year ago. She started having certain symptoms and she was bleeding a lot.

“She kept going to the doctor about it and they told her it was her contraception. They started saying it was misaligned. When she went to visit her local GP they said the contraception had become stuck and lacerated her womb. We were told she was too young for it to be anything else each time she went.

“After ringing up for a couple of weeks she got an emergency appointment with a specialist. The specialist said ‘I’ve never seen a womb look that way which wasn’t a case of cervical cancer’. It was diagnosed as stage three cervical cancer.”

Emma, who lives with Dava in North Yorkshire, then underwent both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but had to stop the chemo as it was causing dangerous kidney damage. Eventually they found the radiotherapy wasn’t having a positive effect either.

Further tests last year revealed the cancer had worsened. And shortly after Christmas time Emma received the news the cancer had progressed, and was now stage four and had spread to her lungs.

Dava added: “I woke up to her crying. It wasn’t unusual as some times the pain did that to her. But then she told me that it was now stage 4. They gave us approximately 12 months. We’ve got three young kids, they’re 12, 10 and five. Who wants to say goodbye to the person they wanted to spend their life with. I tried to be optimistic, thinking there might be other trials or something like that which could work. But as time goes on I see Emma’s condition and I’m less sure.

“Emma also wants to encourage woman to get checked, because as we’ve seen if they don’t or if they don’t trust themselves it can lead to something devastating.”

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Despite the “terrible” diagnosis Dava wants to marry Emma, something the pair have previously pushed back due to financial reasons.

The childhood sweethearts first met when Dava was 16 and Emma was 15 and now plan to get married in a “princess” style wedding.

Dava said: “I’ve never been able to give her the big wedding she deserved. We always knew it was bad because every time we spoke to anyone about it they never gave us any sense there could be good news, they just said they were sorry.

“They just kept saying she was too young and apologised.” The couple are raising money for their wedding here.



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