GRAPHIC IMAGE: Woman Shares Intimate Photo Of Abnormal Cells On Cervix To Show Importance Of Smear Tests
A blogger has shared intimate photos of the abnormal cells on her cervix, in the hope that it will encourage other women to attend regular smear tests.
Tracy Kiss, 28, said the moment she got the phone call telling her she had abnormal cells “absolutely crushed her”, because she immediately assumed the worse – that she had cervical cancer.
But after speaking to her doctor she found out that they had found an infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus inside her cervix, which, if treated, would not lead to cancer.
However if it was left to its own devices, it could evolve into something more serious.
She has shared her story to coincide with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which runs from 24-30 January.
Kiss said that she first noticed something was wrong with her health when she began to experience bleeding in between her periods which, she says, would last for several hours.
“I also bled for a month straight after just having had my period and the doctors put me on medication to stop the bleeding, explaining that my body had mis-ovulated and failed to release an egg so the blood didn’t shut off,” she explained in a blog post.
“Since then I’ve noticed a massive drop in my energy levels.”
Kiss, who is a vegan bodybuilder, said she has gone from being able to do two hours of cardio in the gym, to not even being able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath.
“I feel light headed, dizzy, weak and visit the toilet constantly with a grizzly stomach and wanting to wee,” she explained.
“I get the feeling like I’m having a period only minus the blood and I want to ball my knees up and hug my stomach tight to ease the ache but it won’t go.”
Tracy Kiss talks about her smear test results in a candid vlog
After attending a smear test last October, Kiss, who is mother to Millisent, 8, and Gabriele, 3, was told she had abnormal cells and was asked to go back for a colposcopy, enabling doctors to take a biopsy from her cervix.
Writing about her appointment in a blog update, Kiss said there were two members of staff present – a woman who showed her through to a changing room and a man who carried out the examination.
“I was invited to a private room where we sat at a desk and discussed what would happen. The male examiner told me that he was going to be looking at my cervix under a microscope and asked about my general health and smear test that resulted in an abnormal reading,” she said.
“I explained that I’d had irregular bleeding outside of my period and that I generally felt period symptoms day to day.”
Abnormal cells on the cervix
She was then taken to the treatment room where she was asked to remove her leggings and underwear, and wrap a towel around her waist.
“Once undressed I re-entered the treatment room and got into position on the bed with my feet resting in the stirrups and my towel covering me across my lap,” she recalled.
During the treatment, Kiss was able to watch what the examiner could see through a TV monitor to the site of her.
She said the biopsy itself involved inserting a “metal claw-like rod” into her vagina, which then removed a section of tissue from inside her body.
“It was a small achy feeling deep inside of me that was over with in a second and I turned my head to the female member of staff so that I didn’t see it happening on the screen because I didn’t want to panic,” she explained.
Kiss’ biopsy results showed that she had changes in the skin amounting to CIN 2, which means that up to two thirds of the cells in the affected area are abnormal.
She was recommended loop excision treatment to return the cells to normal, which will take place on 3 February.
During this treatment, a thin wire loop is heated with an electric current to burn the abnormal cells on the cervix away.
Since sharing her intimate health story on her blog and after sharing a #SmearForSmear selfie to coincide with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, Kiss has urged other women to attend their cervical screenings.
She wrote: “This is something we should all do automatically, without batting an eyelid, rather than putting it off or ignoring the invitation to get screened.
“Having this procedure will save my life and many more, let’s please be vigilant and share a kind word of encouragement with friends, cousins, sisters, aunts and mothers to make sure they have all had theirs.
“You cannot put a price on life and sadly no amount of embarrassment, fear or regret can ever bring you back from the grave.”