How I wish I lived in a perfect world. A fairy tale world where everything has a happy ending. Little challenges but then happy endings. You know, like in Rapunzel movie……..or Cinderella. Oh maybe a world like that of Snow white and the seven dwarfs where I get to wake up and everything is perfect with my prince charming gazing into my eyes………….A world without cervical cancer…….
Life is not like that. Yep!!! LIFE-IS-NOT-LIKE-THAT. Unfortunately I live in a world where Cervical Cancer exists and I have to deal with it!
Besides the fact that I am a physician, as a woman and a mother of 3 girls, cervical cancer is one of the diseases that is on my mind that I plan to guard against.
What is Cervical Cancer and why should you worry?
Cervical Cancer is a type of cancer that originates from the cervix (see the picture to know where cervix is located in a woman’s body). The easiest way I can describe cervix is that it is a passage babies pass through when coming out of the womb (uterus in the picture) during normal delivery.
We are made up of very small living components called cells. What happens in cancer is that these cells begin to grow abnormally. If the abnormal growth is not detected early (through PAP Smear), the abnormal cells begin to spread to other parts of the body. In medicine, this is called metastasis (please pardon my big word…couldn’t find a better word to use 🙂 ).
Cervical cancer is dangerous.
So what kind of people develop Cervical Cancer and what test can help prevent it?
Pap test checks for abnormal cells in the cervix which gives room for early diagnosis of cancer so that treatment can be started early and this in turn gives a better chance to be disease-free.
Your role as a woman: Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN and get your PAP test done.
And to men: Please encourage the woman in your life. Your mom, sister, aunt etc. to get screened. You can add this to your goals and follow up with them to ensure the test is completed.
Have you done yours? Please do not procrastinate. “Procrastination is the thief of time, a moment lost, is a century wasted”. TW readers, this is serious, screening saves lives….
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Thanks to the following sources: American Cancer Society; UpToDate; Wikipedia