Mum hails miracle baby for saving her life after giving birth detects cancerous mass
A mum has hailed her miracle baby for saving her life after giving birth detected a cancerous mass.
Carla Woods, 29, was diagnosed with cervical cancer after midwives spotted a lump on her vaginal wall during childbirth with her youngest daughter, Freya, now 14-months-old.
The mum-of-two had no other symptoms of cervical cancer and believes her daughter has saved her life.
Carla’s cervical cancer had spread to two lymphnodes in her groin and she needed intense chemotherapy, radiotherapy and Brachytherapy in a bid to survive.
Thankfully Carla was told in January this year that she’s now cancer free and is sharing her story to highlight the importance of smear tests.
Carla, from Caerphilly, Wales, said: “I had no idea there was anything wrong until the midwives told me there was a mass on my vaginal wall.
“I call Freya our little miracle baby as without her I wouldn’t have been diagnosed with cancer until it had spread further.
“I never missed a smear test, I had one six months after my eldest daughter, Paige, four, was born but I was due my next one when I was pregnant with Freya which stopped me from having it done.
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“At first the midwife thought it was a fibroid when she spotted the mass and they told me to book a doctor’s appointment for further tests.
“I was so busy being a new mum to Freya that it took me a few weeks before I finally visited my doctor and was referred.
“It was such a shock for me and my husband, Andrew, 31, when I was finally diagnosed in June 2018, we had no idea it would be something as serious as cancer.
“The tumour was already the size of a satsuma and I needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy to get rid of it.
“I also had a three week course of internal radiotherapy called Brachytherapy.
“It wasn’t how I’d expected to spend my maternity leave but I was grateful to have caught it early so there was treatment available.”
Carla – a healthcare advisor – had never missed a cervical smear test before falling pregnant.
Despite always having clear results prior to her diagnosis, she is now urging other women to not push aside the lifesaving test.
She added: “I didn’t have any of the usual symptoms that I are typical of cervical cancer for example, bleeding or back or pelvic pain.
“So if I’d not have been giving birth the tumour would have continued to grow which is why I’m so thankful to Freya.
“After being given the all clear at the start of this year as there was no evidence of cancer we are now trying to move on.
“People think they’re invincible but it can happen to anyone which is why smear tests are so important.
“Smear tests help detect cancer even when there’s no symptoms at all.
“I have been left infertile by the cancer treatment as it has caused my body to be in early menopause but I’m so happy to now be cancer free.
“I can’t thank the staff at the Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, for all their support during and after treatment as well as my friends and family.
“I’m now sharing my story as a warning to other women and raise awareness for cervical cancer.”