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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Aberdeen chapter.
I am a person who has been affected by cancer. 
I had originally started this article in a completely different way but while pondering my morning thoughts while watching the news, I heard a statistic I just couldn’t shake. 
1 in 2 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their life. 
So that means if and when I ever get married, either myself or my significant other will be diagnosed. Although this statistic is due to the ageing population we have in Britain, the growing concern of cancer is crystal clear. 
Yes, I am a person who had been affected by cancer and perhaps why I feel so passionate about the subject and why I will strive to help to find a cure during my lifetime so the suffering can stop and we can end this. But before that dreaded day when my mum was diagnosed, I still felt strongly on the subject. When you are affected personally, it just makes the fight seem all the more real – something has attacked your family and you can’t do anything about it. 
My mum said to me while going through treatment: “I can cope with what it is doing to me, I can’t deal with how it affects my family” while all I was thinking was how scared I’d be if I was her. Luckily, this story is one of happiness and my mum is a cancer survivor.
Did you know, 1 in 3 of young woman between the ages of 25-29 do not take up on their smear test invitation?
Jo’s Cervical cancer trust has set up an online campaign “#SmearforSmear” to raise awareness and to hopefully provoke action for women to go for their smear tests. I’ve heard numerous excuses from friends of why they’re putting it off “I’m scared it will hurt”, “I’m so busy” “I didn’t think it was necessary” and while all of these may be true, a smear test could save your life one day.

I know this because had it not been for my mum’s smear test, the cancer would never have been caught. As she had been experiencing no symptoms, as often is the case, it was a huge shock and horror to the whole family. Considering this, it pains me that many young woman do not go to their smear test and I know what they’re thinking “I’d have symptoms, I doubt I have anything” but what if?

The #SmearforSmear involves putting on your lipstick but smudging it, taking a selfie and uploading it to social media. Many celebrities have taken up the selfie challenge including Cara Delevingne, Georgia Jagger (Shown left), Chloe Sims (The Only Way is Essex star) and Rita Ora.

While raising awareness for any form of cancer is important, cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer for below 35s and eight woman are diagnosed daily in the UK and as I have already said, 1 in 3 of young people do not take up on their smear invitation. However, cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented!

In case you’re wondering who is invited for a smear test, in Scotland, women aged 20 – 60 are invited for a screening every 3 years, this is changing in 2016 to start at 25 – 64 however. It is estimated that early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.

Along with this online campaign, World Cancer Day was on the 4th February which is another global way in which cancer awareness is raised. Cancer Research has headlined the slogan #WeWillUnite and has encouraged people to write on their hand or a piece of paper who they are uniting for, shown below. I can’t tell whether this is so people are more aware of the symptoms which might occur or to raise money. I can’t argue with either because this combination means that we might beat cancer in my lifetime. 

Some people might fear that this article is too personal and part of me does fear that I don’t know who will be reading about such a difficult time in my life but if we don’t spread the word about the stories, how can we get any further?

I have been affected by cancer but I won’t let it define who I am.

Currently a 3rd year undergraduate at the University of Aberdeen studying English Literature. And the President and Editor in Chief of Her Campus Aberdeen.