Hello, My name is Barbara Daniels. I am a three-time uterine cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the cervix and uterus twice in in my early twenties, undergoing multiple surgeries and chemotherapy; and then again at age 39. After a successful hysterectomy in August of 2007 at Mayo Clinic, I have had no re-occurrences of the cancer, and recently celebrated 5 years cancer free.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a form of cancer of the carcinoma type that may occur in many different organs, including the skin, lips, mouth, esophagus, urinary bladder, prostate, lungs, vagina, cervix and uterus. It is a malignant tumor of squamous epithelium (epithelium that shows squamous cell differentiation). My maternal grandmother lost her battle with uterine cancer when I was a teenager; and my mother had a "non-cancerous" hysterectomy by the age of 40. However, my mother has had at least three cases of SCC since, in the form of skin cancer.
I am happily married and we have been very blessed to have three beautiful daughters. Especially since I was unable to carry a child after my first two bouts with cancer; therefore, my first two children are 9-1/2 years apart. It took several years for my body to recover and I lost three pregnancies in between my first two children. I had all but given up before I found out I was pregnant with my second child and luckily found that the problem had resolved itself and I was even able to have a third child.
In late 2007, during a physical at Mayo Clinic I was told that my uterus needed to be removed as soon as possible. We were told that I had internal bleeding in the uterus and that my endometrium was growing into the muscle layer of the uterus. The doctors believed that if I did not have cancer already, I would soon.
I elected to have the surgery and only found out afterwards on the pathology report that I indeed had SCC internal to the uterus. It was a blessing to not know until after the surgery.
Today, I am feeling very blessed to be cancer free.
The key is to listen to your body. Don't wait when you feel like something may be wrong. Do your research and choose your doctor(s) wisely. Ask for copies of all reports from any tests you take. Buy a Taber's Manual - you can get one at your local bookstore. It will help you understand the language doctors use. You need to understand that there's more in the reports than what most doctors will tell you. You must be your own advocate when it comes to your health care.
Ladies, you are stronger than you think! There's a fighter in all of us!
Good Luck and God Bless!