Our nurse, Sandy, shares this story with us as a warning and reminder for women worldwide.
Eight years ago, Juana went to the government health center for a papanicolaou exam. When she received her results, Juana was told the dreaded news: cancer. The doctors told her she needed to have her uterus removed immediately. However, Juana doubted those results, she said “I didn’t feel like I had anything, I did not have any pain! I did not have ANY symptoms, so I figured the test results were wrong. I also did not have the available funds to go to the hospital and have the surgery.”
Six months ago, Juana came to our Pap clinic. When she told us about her history, we feared doing the exam for what we might find. However, upon doing her exam, everything looked normal! Sandy said she was hopeful that the original exams were wrong. But Sandy explained, “It is always important to follow protocol and complete the full exam and take the samples for the pap, HIV and STI tests, because the physical exam does not show everything. These tests are essential for good health and the opportunity to hopefully uncover a problem before it is too late.” Unfortunately, Juana’s pap results were positive, a low grade cervical lesion, that could become cancer.
In order to further examine Juana’s situation and stage of cancer, we did a colposcopy. In the end, Juana did not have to have her uterus removed, but she did have her cervix removed. Currently, she is cancer free!
Sandy explained that “Juana is extremely happy with life and knowing she is currently cancer free and able to spend time with her children. She is very thankful to Wuqu’ Kawoq, their donors and Partners for helping her overcome the financial barriers to becoming cancer free!”
Sandy wanted to leave women world wide with an important message: “It is important that women go for their pap smears at least once every 3 years, because cancer, especially cervical cancer, is a silent killer! Often, there are not symptoms and when the symptoms do show, it can be a very difficult situation as the cancer is advanced.”
We are extremely thankful for our partners at Watsi, for making Juana’s difficult situation have an easy solution!