Support Through Cervical Cancer

– Welcome to Living
Healthy Chicago. I’m Jane Monzures. A big motivator when
it comes to staying on top of our
health is being able to be well enough to enjoy
time with our families. And our families can also
provide great inspiration if we find ourselves struggling
with a health challenge. This next woman says her
family’s support helped her through treatment
for cervical cancer. – [Jane] Family is Sue
Lee’s top priority. – Family is very
important to me. That’s actually
what motivates me. It keeps me going. Yeah, it does. – [Jane] So when she
noticed some changes in her body, she
became concerned about being present
for major milestones. – I had a lot going
on at that time. My daughter was getting married
within a month and a half. I was having some
bleeding, some issues, and I wasn’t sure
what was going on. And I actually had
made an appointment
with my gynecologist. – [Jane] After her
exam, Sue’s doctors quickly figured out
what was going on. – About five days
later, he called me and he said that, “You
have cancerous polyps “on your cervix.” The aggressive form of
cervical cancer that I had, it was adenocarcinoma. (knocking) – Hello.
– Hi. – Hi, Susan. – It’s a cancer that
affects uterine cervix and in the majority
of cases it’s caused by human papilloma virus. Not everybody, but
statistically 99.7% of adults. The disease that Sue developed
was not related to HPV. It was a very rare form. Fortunately there are no
symptoms with early disease. That’s why screening
for cervical cancer with Pap smear is so critical. Symptoms mostly
arise in patients who happen to develop more
advanced forms of the disease. Sue came to us, gladly, at an
early stage of the disease. – [Jane] Further
testing also led to the discovery of a
tumor on Sue’s kidney. Her doctors ultimately decided to address both issues
at the same time. – She did the surgery five days after my daughter got married. They needed to do a
radical hysterectomy. It went fine; surgery was fine. I just followed everything
my doctor told me to do. – [Jane] And because of the type of cancer Sue was dealing with, she underwent radiation
and chemotherapy. (chattering excitedly) – My family and my friends
actually were really supportive, trying to get my mind
off of the treatment I was going through. It was good for
them to be around. It really meant a lot to me. – It is very important
to have family support, and gladly she did
remarkably well. I’m very happy for her. – [Jane] Sue completed her
treatment successfully, and while she continues to check in regularly with
her medical team, she says, overall, she’s back
to focusing on family time. – Now, overall, I’m
doing much better. I feel great. I feel like I never had it. Back to my normal self. I’m back to exercising
and back to work now, spending more time with
my family and my children. Everything’s back
to where I wanna be. – [Jane] Now Sue
hopes to use her story to inspire others to stay
proactive about their health. – Definitely check in
regularly with your doctors. It’s very important. I recommend women do their
Pap smears every year, ’cause you never know
what’s gonna happen. Nothing was there
the year before. – I really encourage
all of the patients to sequel women’s exams and continue to see
other gynecologists because we can discover disease at an extremely early stage, when it’s potentially curable. They seem to develop
even subtle symptoms that they have not seen before, be it pelvic pain,
pain with intercourse, lower back pain,
change in urination, changes in bowel habits, they should seek medical
care immediately. – It’s just a matter of
getting the word out there to women and making sure that
they have their annual exams. It’s really important to do,
no matter how old you are. (laughs) Don’t put anything off.

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