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Model's Revealing Photo Could Help Save Women's Lives

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Warning: Some may consider the image below to be graphic. 

Saturday marks the last day of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (January 24-30). Every year in the U.K., more than 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, making it the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under, according to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. In the U.S., an estimated 12,900 women were diagnosed in 2015, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

To help encourage women to get tested, model and blogger Tracy Kiss shared a photo of her cervix on her blog.

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Kiss, 28, from Buckinghamshire, England, had a pap smear in October that revealed abnormal cells. Although not cancerous, these cells develop from Human papillomavirus (HPV) and could turn into cervical cancer if left untreated. She underwent a biopsy and is now getting treatment, all thanks to her routine test.

Most women ages 21 to 65 should get Pap tests every 3-5 years as part of routine health care, according to the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Health and Human Services. Aware that some women skip this important test out of fear of discomfort or embarrassment, Kiss decided to share her experience, along with the photo of her cervix, on her blog in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of getting a pap smear.

This is something we should all do automatically without batting an eyelid rather than putting it off or ignoring the invitation to get screened,” Kiss wrote on her blog. “Let’s please be vigilant and share a kind word of encouragement with friends, cousins, sisters, aunts and mothers to make sure they have all had theirs. You cannot put a price on life and sadly no amount of embarrassment, fear or regret can ever bring you back from the grave.”

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When The Mighty asked if there was one thing Kiss would say to a woman putting off her pap smear, the blogger offered this:

What advice would you give your own daughter if she indirectly put her health in danger? Think of your loved ones as well as yourself because life is so very short as it is, don’t make it any shorter by ignoring your health. Go and get checked.

Visit Kiss’s blog for more on her story.

Originally published: January 29, 2016
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