Year-long wait for cervical cancer smear test results

Sinead Kelleher

A Tralee mother of three young children has been left waiting over 12 months for smear test results, in the latest in the cervical cancer saga.

Eve McCarthy Mazurek (29) has hit out the HSE over what she says has been 12 months of worry, terror and torture, as she awaits smear test results.

Her concerns have been heightened after abnormalities were detected in a colposcopy carried out just weeks after her smear test.      

In July 2018, Eve underwent a smear test from her local GP, who also directed her to undergo a colposcopy, two weeks later at UHK.      

But 12 months on Eve is still in the darkness about her results, leaving her confused and increasingly anxious.      

Having waited five weeks for the results of her colposcopy, she was then told that she could not be told the results as medical staff first needed the smear test results taken by her GP.         

Following protocol, Eve's GP had sent the smear test for analysis in the US but, due to the widely reported lengthy backlog and IT glitch in the process, these smear tests results have still not been provided.       

The sample taken has now gone out of date and Eve still has no answers.         

Between October and March, Eve  regularly contacted her GP and UHK for result but to no avail.     

"By Febuary 2019 I was absolutely sick with worry and extremely angry that Kerry General has had biopsy results - not just swabs - going on five months now and I am thinking 'why do they have to wait for a GP's results when the biopsies that were taken would show abnormalities even moreso than swabs sent to America?'," queries Eve.      

Finally, in March, the UHK clinic informed Eve by phone and letter that no abnormalities were found, but her nightmare was far from over as a week later her GP informed her that there were, in fact, abnormalities.       

At this point Eve was also informed she would need another smear test as the sample taken was out of date.       

Eve sought all the documentation from her GP sent from the clinic and discovered that the letter sent to her GP was different to what the clinic had informed her by letter.       

"I was gobsmacked to find that the letter sent to my GP from the clinic was not the same as that sent to me," explains Eve.      

"I was not told about the abnormalities and I would not have known unless I demanded results on paper from my GP.  I feel absolutely appalled, let down and scared."       

Eve is now waiting for another colposcopy later this month and is also waiting to be called for another smear test.        

She has no idea what is going on and has queries that needs to be answered, including why the UHK clinic initially informed her that there were no abnormalities.