Heather Banks

IIC_SurvivorFlyers_8.5x11_V6.inddI live in Indianapolis. I am a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a cervical cancer survivor. I first found out that I had HPV when I was 31 years old and was just 6 weeks pregnant with my second child. No invasive procedures were needed at that time; however, after my son was born and the HPV cells were still present, additional steps were necessary. In order to try and get rid of the abnormal cells, I had a biopsy as well as a LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure). Th e results of the LEEP came back showing that I had Stage 3 cervical cancer. Even though I had no risk factors for HPV or cervical cancer, my story proves that HPV and cervical cancer “can happen to anyone.” My treatment included a hysterectomy followed by radiation and chemotherapy. I have been cancer free for 5 years and I advocate for HPV awareness, vaccination, and early screening and testing.  Read more…

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