Ladies, when was the last time you got your lady-bits checked? Are you going for your yearly regular PAP test?
It is vitally important that you do and here’s why:
According to the Canadian Cancer society, it is estimated that in 2013, 1,450 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 380 women will die from cervical cancer.
Before cervical cancer develops, the cells of the cervix start to change and become abnormal. These abnormal cells are precancerous although they are not cancer. Precancerous changes to the cervix are called dysplasia of the cervix or cervical dysplasia. Dysplasia of the cervix is a common precancerous change that can develop into cancer if it isn’t treated.
Without regular PAP tests, you won’t know if you have abnormalities on your cervix. Most women with dysplasia do not develop cancer, thankfully.
Now my story.
Several years ago, after a regular PAP test, I was informed that I had low-level abnormal cells on my cervix. As a result, I had to get a PAP test every 6 months to monitor their activity.
In August, after my PAP (which by the way I had held off from getting done a few months too long), my doctor phoned to inform me that the abnormal cells had “changed” and I was booked into a gynecologist appointment within the week.
The gynecologist did a biopsy which got sent away but he was able to inform me that the cells were now at a “serious” level and that they needed to be removed. I’m not sure what serious meant exactly but removing them was the next option.
I just recently underwent a minor procedure that removed the cells and was informed that the cells were in fact, pre-cancerous. This is a scary fact for any woman to hear. And, like many, my family has a long history of cancer, many that survived with much success, like my brother and many that succumbed to their disease. Unfortunately, the results were not a big surprise. It was just an unwelcomed one.
A second biopsy was conducted to ensure everything was removed and that further treatments were not required. I am still waiting for the results but I am confident it will turn out positively. In fact, this procedure has a 95% success rate.
Because I was lucky enough for this circumstance to turn out the way it did, it is now a mission to educate women on the importance of regular PAP tests. What happened to me is not uncommon. In fact, at the women’s clinic that I had my procedure done there was a continuous surge of women coming in and going out of the clinic. Let’s face the facts again – unchecked cells can turn into something such as cancer.
So, there you go ladies – go get your lady-bits, va-jay-jay’s and kitties checked now or at the very least make an appointment.