“Every hour, one American with a cervix is diagnosed with cervical cancer. Not so long ago, I thought I was going to be one of them. At the age of 22, I had an abnormal result on my Pap test. My heart literally stopped when I got that phone call from my doctor. Fortunately, my follow-up colposcopy came back normal, but for many years I had abnormal Pap test results and I had to continue with those follow-up tests. It was only in the last few years that I had my first normal Pap test, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried tears of happiness when I got those results.
I will never forget the fear and anxiety that accompanied that first abnormal result. As a result, I continue to get routine Pap tests. I also speak out every chance I get in favor of everyone receiving a Pap + HPV co-test. 1 in 5 cervical cancer cases are missed due to screening with an HPV test alone, but by choosing 2 tests – the Pap and the HPV co-test – instead of the HPV test alone, all those with a cervix have the best possible chance of catching cervical cancer early. I am asking all people with a cervix to sign the Precerv Pledge, which aims to protect access to the Pap + HPV co-test.”