A WIRRAL mum who thought she would never have children after cervical cancer said she would make sure her daughter has a vaccine to protect against the disease.
Sharon Oliver, from Birkenhead, was diagnosed with the illness aged just 30.
She is now supporting Liverpool primary care trust’s campaign to give girls the HPV vaccine to protect them against the disease.
She is also determined her daughter Keira will have the vaccine when she is old enough.
Mrs Oliver went though pioneering surgery at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which meant she still had a chance of a family.
The 41-year-old said:Š “The word ‘hysterectomy’ jumped up and hit me in the face as the surgeon explained it might be the only way to treat it.
“All I was concerned about was saving my fertility.”
But Mrs Oliver was one of the first women in the North West to have a new procedure – a trachelectomy – at Liverpool Women’s in 2000.
She became pregnant in 2006. Sadly it was an ectopic pregnancy where the foetus develops outside the womb.
Mrs Oliver had to have her right fallopian tube removed as a result.
She said: “This reduced my chances of having a baby, which was already partly reduced by my cancer surgery – plus the fact I was not getting any younger.”
She and husband Richard decided to try fertility treatment at Liverpool Women’s Hewitt Centre, which after a rocky road finally led to the birth of their daughter in 2008.
She said: “I was lucky because I was able to have that fertility-saving operation but things could have been so different. Without that lifeline, cervical cancer could have stopped me ever having a child.
“I support anything which can be done to prevent it so am 100% behind this vaccine. For the sake of a jab, girls can be protected against it. I won’t hesitate to let Keira have it.”
The NHS in Liverpool is reminding parents to make sure their daughters are given the jab, which protects against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The virus has been identified as a cause of cervical cancer.
It comes after EastEnders character Tanya Jessop’s recent discovery she has cervical cancer.
Dr Paula Grey, director of public health for Liverpool, said: “By getting vaccinated at a young age, girls can protect themselves against HPV and cervical cancer in later life. Girls aged 12 to 13 are now routinely offered HPV vaccine in year eight in school.
“It is a very popular vaccine and the vast majority of year eight girls complete the full course in Merseyside.
“Older girls, up until the age of 18, who have missed out getting it in school can get the HPV vaccine for free through the family doctor.
“Three injections are needed, which are best given over a period of six months. It is very important to complete the course of three injections in order to be fully protected against the virus.”
Jonathan Herod, the consultant gynaecological surgeon who treated Mrs Oliver, said: “This is a highly effective vaccine. All the evidence shows it works and it is very safe.
“From my perspective, I see women of all ages every week with cervical cancer and I would much rather prevent the disease than have to treat it.
“The most common age group presenting with cervical cancer used to be 35-45 but in the last 10 years we have seen an increase in women aged 25-35 with the disease.”