She was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer just this January at 42. As we were getting her history I couldn’t help but think of my maternal grandmother, who died at about the same age of the same disease.
I have never met my grandma, but looking at our patient this morning, I now see how aggressive this cancer is – how it is able to swiftly take the lives of so many young women who do not know how relatively easy it is to prevent oneself from catching it, or to screen for it regularly.
My mom, the eldest in their family,was already married and with one child when my grandma died. But my tito (the youngest) was still a child then, and he did not know her that well. Our patient now still has a 9y/o child.. the story repeats itself.
Cervical cancer is one of the more easily preventable kinds of cancer. aside from practicing safe sex, avoiding smoking and having a healthy diet and lifestyle, having yourself immunized from the human papillomavirus (HPV) can greatly decrease your risk of getting this cancer. A regular Pap smear for cervical cancer screening will detect this cancer at its early stages. Early detection means better prognosis and management.