To encourage women to have Pap smears, Ascension St. Vincent’s medical staff is donating their time to offer free Pap smears for Check Up 13.
INDIANAPOLIS – There are many reasons Elaine Krieg didn’t see the doctor. The Indianapolis mother works full time, raises her son alone and has no health insurance.
“Things like that get expensive, and then you almost have the feeling, oh, there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Krieg.
But she also feared what they might find. She was bleeding persistently and hadn’t had a Pap smear in six years when she finally made an appointment.
“I knew something was wrong, I knew,” said Krieg. “I think I was just too embarrassed, too embarrassed. I didn’t want to know.”
War was 43 years old when she went to a screening. She remembers crying and pulling to the side of the road when the doctor called with her results.
“He just said, ‘You have cancer,'” said Krieg.
It was cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower end of the uterus that connects the vagina to the uterus. A Pap smear looks for abnormal cells that could potentially become cancer.
Cervical cancer is highly curable when found and treated early. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer.
War was diagnosed at Stage 2. She had chemotherapy and radiation and is now in remission.
Her son Michael, 16, remembers her strength during treatment.
“It’s crazy how she went through all of this and how she was just kind to everyone, even on her bad days, just being there for someone in the family,” Michael said.
Now Krieg is grateful and committed to encouraging others to stay on track and to see their gynecologist regularly.
“It’s so preventable. Just get your pap smears – all you have to do is just get your pap smear,” said Krieg. “Thank god I’m still here to be in remission and have a healthy life and go to all of my appointments and be with my son.”
To encourage women to have Pap smears, Ascension St. Vincent’s medical staff is donating their time to offer FREE Pap smears for Check Up 13.
To qualify, you must be a woman age 21 and older who did not have a Pap smear in the last year.
Learn more and register here by midnight ET January 13, 2021.
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