Most of us know our bodies. We know which foods give our stomachs indigestion and make it rumble, which beauty products lead to breakouts and which medications just don’t agree with us. But when you’re not 100-percent sure what’s causing you not to feel well—especially when your stomach is involved—it’s always better to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor instead of just assuming it’s from something else.
Carla Bradbury, 46, was pretty sure her constant stomach pains were from nothing more than drinking too much sparkling water. But, that wasn’t the case.
Bradbury was experiencing regular stomach pains—plus spotting between periods—and didn’t go to see her doctor until her pain escalated to the point that she had to make an appointment. Her doctor performed a routine pap smear, which came back with abnormal results, and required further testing. Eventually, she discovered it wasn’t sparkling water that was making her feel ill, but rather stage 3B cervical cancer.
“My lowest point was when I read a report that said there was a 50-percent chance of long-term control – meaning I had a 50/50 chance of survival,” says Bradbury. “ Because my tumor was so big (I later found out it was the size of a large plum) and the way it was attached to my pelvic wall, they couldn’t operate on it. Instead, I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which thankfully treated it.”
Unfortunately, not every woman who is diagnosed with cervical cancer experiences pain or symptoms that would necessitate a trip to the doctor—in fact, most cervical cancer patients don’t feel anything at all. That’s why it’s important to get a pap smear regularly, as instructed by your doctor. It could just save your life.
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