Can­cer blood screen­ing plea

Loughborough Echo - - SHEPSHED SCENE - PETE WAR­RING­TON pe­ter.war­ring­ton@reach­plc.com

A BAR­ROW-upon-Soar cam­paigner is pe­ti­tion­ing the Gov­ern­ment in a bid to get a spe­cial ovar­ian and breast can­cer screen­ing blood test avail­able free on the NHS.

Andy Grief-Lig­gins raised more than £5,000 for Ovar­ian Can­cer Ac­tion af­ter his best friend, Michelle Arm­strong, was di­ag­nosed with ovar­ian can­cer.

In 2017 he completed the London Marathon, the Not­ting­ham Marathon, the Le­ices­ter Marathon, the Vi­tal­ity London 10,000 and completed the London to Sur­rey 100-mile bike ride.

Sadly Michelle passed away in Jan­uary, prompt­ing Andy to launch an on­line pe­ti­tion to ‘Make BRCA test­ing a choice for fe­males over 30 on the NHS’.

He said: “Michelle had no fam­ily his­tory and was mis­di­ag­nosed for 18 months. If more train­ing and in­for­ma­tion was given to doc­tors or a BRCA test was done she might still be here to­day with her hus­band and lit­tle boy.

“As we all know, it doesn’t mat­ter if ovar­ian or breast can­cer runs in the fam­ily, if it wants to get you, it will!

“If BRCA test­ing was of­fered free on the NHS, just like a cer­vi­cal screen­ing, it could save lives and surely save the NHS thou­sands. Also doc­tor surg­eries need to pro­vide more leaflets/posters in their surgery ex­plain­ing the symp­toms.

“I’m not ask­ing for the test to be com­pul­sory, I just want peo­ple to have a choice be­cause, at present, you only get of­fered the test if ovar­ian or breast can­cer runs in the fam­ily, oth­er­wise you have to

spend £1500 to go pri­vate.”

To date, the on­line pe­ti­tion has been signed by 10,434 pe­ole and Mr Grief-Lig­gins has had con­fir­ma­tion that the pe­ti­tion has been ac­cepted by the UK Gov­ern­ment.

If it is signed by 100,000 it will be con­sid­ered for de­bate in Par­lia­ment.

He said: “Please can you sign and share the pe­ti­tion link like crazy, as ev­ery woman out there de­serves a choice and no fam­ily de­serves to be torn apart!”

The pe­ti­tion is at https://pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ment.uk/pe­ti­tions/209904

PIC­TURED: Andy Gri­eff-Lig­gins and Michelle Arm­strong.

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