By Darrell Crenshaw
INDIANAPOLIS — At the young age of 27, Erica Frazier’s life was changed forever. That is when she found out she had cervical cancer — a painful experience no woman ever wants to go through.
“I have a 7-year-old son at home and I’ve had cancer more than half of his life,” she told a Senate committee Wednesday. “He used to be afraid to drink after me, because he thought he was going to catch cancer.”
Erica Frazier tells the Heath and Provider Services her story about living with cervial cancer and also her support of HB 1278. Photo by Darrell Crenshaw, TheStatehouseFile.com
Frazier battled through and after a successful surgery was cancer free. But not long after the clean bill of health, the cancer was back.
“It was at that time, that we realized my cervical cancer was incurable and we started a treatment program to maintain and not allow the cancer to grow,” Frazier said.
In Indiana each year, roughly 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 100 women die from the disease.
House Bill 1278 will require the State Department of Health to develop a strategic plan to identify and significantly reduce the mortality rate from cervical cancer.
“We see a lot of women dying from a disease, for all intents and purposes, in this day and age almost 100 percent preventable,” Dr. Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds said.
With new technology, including a vaccine and screenings, Tucker Edmonds argued the resources to help cure and prevent HPV and cervical cancer are already available.
Everyone who testified before the Senate Health and Provider Services committee supports the creation of a strategic plan by the end of 2018. The bill passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
“I share my story, because I want there to be strategic planned developed, so we can prevent this in the future,” Frazier said.
Darrell Crenshaw is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.