Friday 23 August 2019

Estranged wife of Boris Johnson tells of cervical cancer diagnosis and urges women to get tested

Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler Photo credit: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler Photo credit: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Marina Wheeler, the estranged wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has spoken of her cervical cancer diagnosis and urged women to make time for tests.

Ms Wheeler, a QC who married Mr Johnson in 1993 and separated from him in 2018, told the Sunday Times she underwent surgery twice after being given the news in May.

The 54-year-old is the second wife of the current resident of 10 Downing Street, and the couple share four children.

She told the paper of the importance of regular cervical screening, or smear tests, after a routine check in January revealed the problem which led to procedures in June and July.

"I know the take-up of smear tests is way down," she said.

"I know they can save your life. If people are willing to listen - as they seem to be - why not say so? Why be afraid? I would urge other women to make the time and do the tests."

Speaking of her reaction when she was given the diagnosis, she said: "I left thinking, 'That's absurd. I have no time for this. Quite apart from everything else I have a book to write...'"

Ms Wheeler added she considers herself to be free of cancer, saying the experience made her appreciate "the incalculable value of holding close those who you love and trust".

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