A Survivor’s Story

Heather Banks color photoHeather Banks first found out she had HPV when she was 31 years old and was just 6 week pregnant with her second child.  No invasive procedures were needed at that time; however, after her 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, Heather had a biopsy as well as a LEEP procedure.  The results of her LEEP came back showing that she had Stage 3 cervical cancer.  Even though she had no risk factors for HPV or cervical cancer, Heather’s story proves that HPV and cervical cancer “can happen to anyone.”  Her treatment included a hysterectomy followed by radiation and chemotherapy.  She has been cancer free for 5 years and advocates for HPV awareness, vaccination, and early screening and testing.    Heather is a 3rd grade teacher and has 2 children of her own.


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