Denise Huffman says pool is a passion for her.
She likes to line up the balls and sink them into the pocket.
But a little more than a year ago, her game wasn't on target.
That's because her health was suffering. Severe back pain extreme exhaustion.
She was the type that didn't go to the doctor unless she was sick...no insurance didn't help.
After months of misdiagnosis..she was finally sent to a gynecologic oncologist who diagnosed denise with cervical cancer.
" He goes I'm gong to give it to your straight. You have a 20-percent chance and said 20-percent chance of what, you know? He said twenty percent chance to live."
Surprised and confused..Denise had what she thought was a normal pap smear just two years before.
She started chemotherapy..followed by surgery. Nearly a year later she's alive and knows there are other women out there that may be headed down the same road she was. Peter Lim Reno gynecologic oncologist says cervical cancer is the fourth leading cancer killer for women. " I want to see less of numbers of advanced cervical cancer that I am seeing. We shouldn't be seeing that many advanced cervical cancers in Nevada."
Its estimated 50-million pap smears are performed each year in this country. Three million are abnormal..but that doesn't mean the women have cervical cancer. What it does mean...they have to follow-up with additional pap smears according medical recommendations. Because of insurance, accessibIlity, or lack of understanding these women may not know what risks they are taking. Dr. Lim says within a year stage one cervical cancer with a 90-percent cure rate can develop into stage three with less than a 20-percent survival rate.
TheNevada Cervical Cancer coalition is coordinating free and low cost pap test during the month of January.
If you are 21 and have been sexually active for at least three years, of if you have mot had a pap test in three years , you are encouraged to call (775) 356-8800