Casey MacIntyre did everything right.
In 2015, like many other Central Victorians, she got a cervical screening test.
Nothing was found.
“I was just unlucky, the cancer was too far up the cervix, and they couldn’t detect it,” she said.
Earlier this year Casey, 29, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer, which is incurable, and is undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
She hopes her story will encourage more Victorians to take control of their health.
“If you notice something different, go and get something checked…Get in there, get it done, because it could save your life,” she said.
“I don’t think people are afraid of the test, people just get caught up their lives, work, kids and think ‘it’ll never happen to me’.”
Bendigo Health Clinical Director Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Nicola Yuen said cervical cancer was the most common but preventable cancers in women of reproductive age.
Bendigo Health will hold a free community cervical screening test day on May 11 from 9am-4pm at the hospital. Women will be able to come along to the Women’s Clinics and receive a free test.
“We encourage every Victorian woman to get screened,” she said.
Dr Yuen said in late 2017 Australia’s cervical screening program changed, and a different technique adopted, which is better able to detect people who are an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.
“It means we’re able to pick up much more cancers than we were before,” she said.
The new program means women can be screened five yearly rather than every two years.
Casey suggested a test every 12 months would be worthwhile.
“Everyone just needs to listen to their bodies,” she said.