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Lealia Nelson
505-827-2184 Office

A Special Message for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!

January 29, 2021 - Breast and Cervical Cancer - Blog

Cervical Cancer Awareness Message Author

 My name is Rebecca Sanchez, I am 30 years old and I am battling stage 4 cervical cancer.

My efforts to contribute to cervical cancer awareness comes after doing all the “right things.” I am a Health Promotion Specialist and oversee Luna County and Hidalgo County with the New Mexico Department of Health. I have spent almost three years working to promote healthy behaviors in others, and that is what I am hoping to do today by sharing my story with you.

Although I did everything I could to prevent my current situation, I am still fighting for my life. This battle has been one of the most difficult, illuminating, mentally draining, and physically exhausting things that I have ever experienced. However, if I can help just one person after writing this, I think it might have made all of this, worth it.

HPV (Human papillomavirus) and HPV related cancers can happen to anyone. If I could share one piece of advice from this experience it would be this—get a Pap smear and ask questions about the results. If your Pap is abnormal, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, ‘what does that mean and what do I do next?’ If you have HPV, ask your doctor about treatment options.

You must advocate for yourself by asking questions and by paying attention to your body. If you have pain, abnormal bleeding, or spotting in-between periods—talk with your doctor. Get answers! Do not normalize pain. Pain is not normal.

There are things you can do to protect yourself, such as getting your HPV vaccinations and asking about when your children can get their shots. Also, always practice safe sex and talk with your partner about their sexual history. Together, we must work to normalize the topic of sexual and reproductive health.

With tears in my eyes, I write this hoping that you, the reader, take time to get these things done. Take time out of your day, for YOUR health. Advocate for yourself and for your children. Experiencing five to ten minutes of discomfort while wearing a paper gown, or sitting and getting a vaccination is nothing compared to fighting for your life.

Please remember, you are not alone. There are resources are available to you. The New Mexico Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program offers vaccinations that can be provided through your local Public Health Office and other local health providers. There is also support for those currently battling gynecological cancers, or those who are newly diagnosed by contacting the Gynecological Cancer Awareness Project.


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We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Lealia Nelson at 505-827-2184 (Office) with your questions.