Pap smears can and do save lives.
"Cervical cancer is known as the silent killer. Yearly Pap smears are vital. You are your own health advocate, stand up for yourself and your health. No one else will," Kenzi said.
"In the United States, anyone with a cervix between the ages of 21–29 needs a Pap smear every three years, regardless of prior sexual activity. Between the ages of 30–65, Pap smears are done every five years. If at any point a Pap smear or HPV test comes back abnormal, more frequent or intensive testing may need to be done. People with certain medical conditions, such as HIV, get Pap smears on a different schedule," she said.
(These are the exact symptoms Kenzi experienced when she found out she had cervical cancer again.)
"Anyone ages 11–45 is eligible for the HPV vaccine, which offers 99% effective protection against the nine most dangerous strains of HPV. It is a vaccine that can protect you from cancer. Please talk to your health care provider, regardless of whether or not you have tested positive for HPV in the past," she said.