This Brave Woman Is Sharing Her Cervical Cancer Story to Help Other Women
Heather is now cancer free, but she is sharing her story to warn women about the dangers of cervical cancer. Heather posted on Facebook and other social media websites, explaining her story and urging women “If you are under 25 and feel something is not right please go and get it checked out with your GP.” By raising awareness about the symptoms of cervical cancer, more women may be able to get diagnosed in the early stages of cancer while it is still relatively easy to treat. Often, stage one cervical cancer can just be treated with surgery, while later stages require damaging chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Though cervical cancer does not often have extremely noticeable symptoms, the warning signs of cervical cancer are still present. The most common symptom is unusual vag!nal bleeding, such as the bleeding that Heather experienced. This bleeding may occur as blood that appears between periods, or the abnormal bleeding may sometimes appear in the form of unusually long and heavy periods. Women with cervical cancer sometimes notice that they start to bleed after douching, having a pelvic exam, or act of lovemaking. Sometimes the bleeding is painless, but some women with cervical cancer experience pain in the pelvic region, especially during or after intercourse. Occasionally, vaginal discharge may take on an unpleasant odor and unusual appearance.
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Heather’s doctor may not have listened to her concerns, but most health care professionals will do a Pap smear to rule out cervical cancer if a patient is experiencing troubling symptoms. Of course, it is better to not wait until something is wrong to do a Pap smear tests. Regular screenings and Pap tests can prevent cancer from developing, so they have been able to reduce cervical cancer death rates by 60 percent in the past few decades. It is recommended that women have a Pap test every three years from the age of 21 to 65.