By Emily Ketterer
INDIANAPOLIS–When Erica Frazier discovered her cervical cancer was incurable in 2015, the things that typically seemed important to a normal 32-year-old were put in the background.
Frazier was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012, and through her battle she became an advocate for cervical cancer awareness and prevention.
Erica Frazier, an advocate for cervical cancer awareness, shares her story on battling cancer.
Photo by Amari Thompson, TheStatehouseFile.com
“Having cervical cancer has changed my life in so many ways,” Frazier said. “Especially when we got to the point where I wasn’t curable anymore. When I found that out, I really started living my life more intentionally.”
On Thursday, Frazier joined Rep. Sharon Negele, R-Attica, and Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health Kristina Box at the Statehouse as they introduced a proclamation recognizing January as Cervical Cancer Screening and Awareness Month, which was passed by the House of Representatives.
“By formally dedicating January as Cervical Cancer Screening and Awareness Month in Indiana, we are able to reaffirm our commitment to finding ways to reduce cervical cancer and spread awareness,” Negele said.
In Indiana, more than 250 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. The ISDH is committed to developing a strategic plan to decrease Indiana’s cervical cancer mortality rate, Box said.
“The most important thing to know about cervical cancer is that we can almost 100 percent eradicate it,” Box said. “It is almost 100 percent preventable by several things¾pap smear screenings throughout your life, by avoiding risk factors and most importantly, being immunized against the HPV virus.”
Frazier said the length Indiana is going to in order to decrease the cervical cancer mortality rate is “huge.”
“Having this month recognized is amazing,” Frazier said. “To be able to come in today and see the proclamation and have the press conference going on at the same time is great. It’s really great Indiana is stepping up and encouraging people to learn about cervical cancer.”
Emily Ketterer is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.