A 23-YEAR-OLD Wrexham hairdresser is urging other women to have regular smear tests after a routine examination uncovered pre-cancerous cells.

Laura Ramsay recently underwent treatment after the abnormal cells were discovered on her cervix.

An operation to remove the tissue was carried out after a colposcopy, which investigates the area at the neck of the womb, revealed their presence.

Laura had gone for her first smear test at the age of 20, with no problems detected.

She said: “My first test was fine and the results came back normal, but when I went for my second test at the age of 23 the results showed that there were some abnormalities on my cervix.

“Before I had the colposcopy the doctor explained to me about the abnormal cells and said that they could turn cancerous in five or 10 years time. He then explained the procedure and what they were going to do.”

During the colposcopy Laura was able to see the cells for herself.

She said: “I was able to see the abnormal cells on the screen – they looked like white patches and were spreading over a wide area.”

She was booked in the following day for a procedure known as a large loop excision, where part of the neck of the womb was removed by a wire.

That was just before Christmas and Laura will have to go back in six months time for a check-up.

She said: “I really want to encourage women to go for their smear test.

“It’s not as bad as you think and you could have abnormal cells and not know anything about it. And if you don’t have treatment then they could turn into cancer. It’s really worth going.”

Laura’s call comes as part of the annual European Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday. The drive, which is being led locally by Cervical Screening Wales, includes a television advertising campaign.