Forgive me if I’m not so eloquent in my wording for this post. It’s quite early, and I slept a very short and unsatisfying amount of time. However, there is something that’s important to me weighing heavily on my mind. So, I felt it was crucial that I write this article before I begin preparing for my day.
Today is my bi-annual pap smear appointment. I can’t express how passionately and deeply I feel towards cervical and ovarian cancer awareness! After having an abnormal pap smear a year ago, I quickly learned just how terrifying ignorance can be when it comes to such a preventable disease.
You see, my doctor at the time had little to no bed side manner. She was rude, short, and didn’t take the time to explain anything to me about my results or their meaning. For three months or so I thought I had cancer, that my death certificate had been signed, and all I could do was sit and wait…. and panic.
It wasn’t until switching to a gynecologist (the aforementioned doctor was a family family practitioner) that I learned the reality of my situation. I didn’t have cancer at all, just a few slightly abnormal cells that were easily treatable if they needed to be treated at all. My lack of knowledge combined with my prior doctor’s refusal to communicate put my life on hold, and took away a lot of time that could be better speak elsewhere.
However, I don’t regret those three months of anxiety and inability to function. I’m actually thankful in some ways, for what I endured. It’s because of that experience that I urge my friends every year to get pap smears, and to take responsibility for their own health by staying informed.
So, listed below are a few facts I feel every woman should know. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why we as powerful and intelligent women should not get a yearly pap smear. Based on what I know, end stage cervical cancer is a needless death that is so incredibly preventable. And yet, 3,600 women die from it every single year. Those statistics literally hurt my soul, because it doesn’t have to happen. All it takes is one appointment, and three minutes in the stirrups.
You can save your life, and the lives of thousands if you speak up and live as an example.
You’re worth it, I’m worth it, and they’re worth it.
- Over 10,000 women in the US develop Cervical Cancer every year.
- Of that 10,000, 3,600 women die of Cervical Cancer annually in the US.
- The average diagnosis age is 50.
- Women as young as 17 can contract the disease.
- Pre-cancerous cells can take 10-15 years to develop into cancerous cells.
- 90% of of cervical cancer is treatable if caught early enough.
- Pap smears significantly reduce the risks of contracting and dying from cervical cancer.
- Pap smears have lowered worldwide annual deaths by approximately 2% decline each year.
- Pap smears have reduced the death rate by 74% since the tests were first implemented.