Monday, July 13, 2009

As simple as a Pap Smear

I am 26, single, independent and well informed about the world around me. About 5 years ago I finished my post graduation and entered into the corporate world, a journey I was eager to tread. The beginning of this journey was slightly faltering, as I was trying to discover myself and a profession that would define me. Today, fortunately I have a profession that defines me and I have been blessed to work on projects that I totally believe in and support.

Fight Against Cervical Cancer is one such project, talking about which takes me back to the time where were discussing causes that we wanted to be associated with and when cervical cancer was thrown on the table majority of us thought it was the cancer of the neck……the project certainly has come a long way since then!….To begin with I know its not the cancer of the neck, it’s the cancer of the cervix uteri or cervical area; kills eight Indian women every waking hour…..sadly India leads this dark race of death.

Human nature is certainly strange, I knew how deadly this disease was and how ignorance was killing close to 75,000 Indian women but I somehow felt I couldn’t be susceptible to it. Could I be? I was sexually active, I have had multiple partners and I smoke. My lifestyle was certainly pointing in that direction but somehow I didn’t want to accept it.

Fortunately my work required me to constantly read about cervical cancer and the knowledge empowered me to visit a gynaecologist and overcome my paranoia about doctors and hospitals.

While sitting at the gynaecologist and waiting to be called the anxiety gave me goose bumps. The doctor soon called me in and asked me undress and covered me with a sheet. She inserted a lubricated speculum (is a small medical tool for investigating body cavities) into the vagina and using a small mascara-like brush, took sample cells from the cervix. She then placed it in a tube and sent to the lab for testing. I experienced uneasiness; there is however no pain involved – It was easy & quick.

At the end of it I didn’t have abnormal results - I knew I was safe. I did heave a sigh of relief but on my things to do I do have the gynaecologist visit. I have come to believe prevention is better than cure. So be smart, visit your gynaecologist and insist on a pap smear.

Contributor: Yein, Age: 26, New Delhi


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