Sharing photos online is now a central part of the life of a model and blogger – but one woman has shared a photo of her cervix to the thousands of people who follow her in order to raise awareness of cervical cancer.
The form of cancer is particularly difficult to diagnose in the early stages, as only some women experience the unusual vaginal bleeding linked to the disease. Such symptoms are can be easily mistaken for "spotting" during periods.
In order to raise awareness of the condition which claims the lives of around 1,000 women in the UK each year, model Tracy Kiss has shared an image of her cervix on her blog.
The 28-year-old from Buckinghamshire, who has over 150,000 followers on social media and has raised money for cancer charities in the past, wrote on her website how she had felt "weak and sick" and had noticed that her periods had been changing.
Worried that she may have a serious disease, she visited her doctor for a smear test.
Women are advised to have cervical screenings at the age of 25, and every three years afterwards under the NHS. During a smear test, a small sample of cells is collected from the cervix. These are then checked in a lab for signs of underlying diseases.
Miss Kiss describes he experiences in a YouTube video below.
Ms Kiss wrote on her blog that she felt “so sick and scared” when her test returned with an abnormal result.
She then underwent examinations including a colposcopy to ensure that she did not have cancer or any other conditions.
The tests returned negative for cervical cancer. However, she tested positive for HPV - a common virus which can trigger cervical cancer in some women.
Ms Kiss is now awaiting a LLETZ procedure, where a thin wire loop is used to burn away abnormal cells in order to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
The model and blogger is now calling on her followers to donate to the charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, and has shared a selfie with smeared lipstick as part of the #smearforsmear campaign.
She told The Mirror: "I am urging women to go for a smear test – it would be amazing if this advice saved somebody."
Ms Kiss added: "It is a bit uncomfortable and embarrassing but these feelings won't bring you back from the dead."
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