Cervical Cancer Stories
Patients Share Symptoms & Treatment

Cervical cancer happens most frequently in women who are over 30 years old, but all women are at risk for a cervical cancer diagnosis.

The good news is that screening tests and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer in the first place. If detected early, cervical cancer is highly treatable.

Explore below for in-depth cervical cancer stories from our community members, patients and survivors, who share everything from first symptoms, managing through different treatments, and navigating life with and after cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Basics

Cervical cancer develops in the cells that line the cervix (lower area of the uterus). Different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, can increase the risk of cervical cancer. 

Types of cervical cancer

There are three main types of cervical cancer:

  • Squamous: About 90% of cervical cancers that originate most often in the transformation zone.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Make up most other cases, develop from grand cells.
  • Adenosquamous: Carcinomas or mixed carcinomas: the least common, a mix of the first two.

Cervical Cancer Patient Stories

Mila smiling in her car

Mila L., Squamous, Stage 1B

1st Symptoms: Abnormal lump in cervix area, bleeding after sex
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, adjuvant chemotherapy (Carboplatin + Paclitaxel

Marissa, Squamous, Stage 3B

1st Symptoms: Excessive and prolonged vaginal bleeding
Chemotherapy (Cisplatin), radiation, brachytherapy

Brittany W., Squamous Cell, Stage 4B

1st Symptoms: Spotting after sex, eventual significant bleeding at random
Treatment: Chemotherapy (Cisplatin) concurrent with radiation, 6 rounds adjuvant chemo, 2nd round radiation, immunotherapy trial, targeted therapy

Kristine M., Adenocarcinoma, Stage 2B

1st Symptoms: Tumor found during postpartum pap smear
Colposcopy with endocervical curettage, cone biopsy, total abdominal radical open hysterectomy with lymph node removal

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Navigating Life with Cancer

A cancer diagnosis leads to many more questions than ones about medical treatment. How do I break thew news to friends and family? Will I lose my hair? Do I need to advocate for myself right now?

Read pieces and hear from our patients on some of the most popular cancer topics. For a full list of cancer FAQ topics, click here.

Processing a Cancer Diagnosis

Hear from cancer patients how they were able to eventually process their cancer diagnosis.

Breaking the News of Diagnosis to Loved Ones

Once cancer patients learn of their own diagnosis, one of the top questions next is how to tell family and friends. Get some guidance from those who’ve already been there.

How to Be a Self-Advocate

Cancer patients share how they advocated for themselves throughout the diagnosis and treatment experience.

Hair Loss & Cancer Treatment

One of the most popular questions, especially with chemotherapy as part of cancer treatment, is, “Will I lose my hair?” Hear how some people managed through hair loss.