health

Tracy Kiss shared a picture of her cervix to spread awareness of cell abnormalities.

Image: Tracy Kiss/YouTube.

No one enjoys going for a pap smear but blogger Tracy Kiss‘s story serves as an important reminder exactly why they’re so necessary.

After receiving a phone call from her doctor on her 28th birthday informing her that her routine pap smear had delivered abnormal results, Kiss underwent a colposcopy (a more detailed cervix examination) and biopsy to determine what exactly was wrong.

“These are the words that I could never imagine myself writing, right now I’m crying my eyes out and shaking like a leaf. I feel so sick and scared and I just really need a hug and for somebody to tell me that everything will be alright,” she wrote on her blog.

She had been experiencing irregular spotting and periods in the months leading up to the pap smear but put them down to getting older and stress of being a single mum with two young children.

After being told she had the HPV virus, the 28 year old decided to do something a little unconventional, posting an image of her cervix to her 150,000 social media followers in order to raise awareness of cell abnormality that can potentially turn into cervical cancer if left untreated.

Image: Facebook/TracyKiss

In the image, Kiss circled the HPV Virus affected area with a red circle and parts with abnormal cells where they shouldn't be are circled in yellow.

"The right-hand side of my cervix has changed white with white dots which means my body is beginning to grow the abnormal cells," she explained. (WATCH: Kiss explains the procedure. Post continues after video.)

According to Cancer Australia, the issue lies with the fact that early changes to cervix cells rarely cause any symptoms, with external signs not exhibited until the later stages of the disease.

Cervical cancer is the 14th most commonly diagnosed cancer among Australian females and responsible for the deaths of 250 women last year alone.

The best way to lower your risk is by having the cervical cancer vaccine and regular pap smears, which can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by up to 90 per cent.

They list common symptoms of cell changes as vaginal bleeding between periods if you are not menopausal, bleeding after or pain during intercourse, unusual vagina discharge or vaginal bleeding after menopause.

Kiss' biopsy results fortunately showed no evidence of cancer but changes in the skin had amounted to CIN 2, meaning that up to two thirds of the cells in the affected area were abnormal. If left untreated, the abnormal have a risk of developing into cervical cancer.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Tracy Kiss/YouTube.

She is scheduled for the loop excision treatment (which involves using a thin wire loop that is heated with an electric current to burn the abnormal cells away) in early February and remains passionate about encouraging women to not just ignore or dismiss signs from their body as nothing to worry about.

"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," she wrote. (Post continues after gallery.)

"At the age of 28 I never would have thought that something like this could happen to me, I thought irregular bleeding, period cramps that linger and back ache was just a sign of getting old and having children," she wrote.

"You know in yourself when something isn’t right and when your body isn’t behaving as normal. A quick smear test could save your life and I’m incredibly thankful that I had mine."

You can read the full detailed account of Kiss' experience on her blog or YouTube.

Are you vigilant about regular (every two years) pap smears?

00:00 / ???