Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world and one the biggest killers in modern India, yet people are hesitant to discuss this serious issue. Genevieve Sambhi, a cancer survivor has made it her personal mission to do all she can to spread awareness on cervical cancer and its prevention methods.
A former Miss Malaysia and a mother-of -two Sambhi was a healthy, successful 35-year-old when, after an annual Pap smear, her doctor found that there were abnormal cells in her cervix. 10 days after a cone biopsy, she got the news that her cancer had spread, and because of that she may need a hysterectomy.
“I was really, really upset. It took me a while to figure it out and I finally said okay to the hysterectomy”, says Sambhi.
About a week before the surgery, the doctor did an ultra-sound and found a lump in Genevieve’s cervix after which the doctor suggested that she undergo a ‘radical hysterectomy’.
Few days after the surgery, Genevieve got another blow when the doctors informed her that there were signs of a tumour outside the area of the cervix and she was advised to undergo radiation and chemotherapy.
“After hearing this, my world came tumbling back down. This was when I began to think and question, what had I done to deserve all this?”, recalls Sambhi.
Describing the ordeal she went through during the treatment, Genevieve said it was the worst period of her life and her family was the only reason which kept her going.
She vowed that if she I was able to survive the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, she would help raise awareness on cervical cancer to other women.
After she finished treatment, she started working with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia to spread the word that cancer does not discriminate.
Sambhi believes that no woman should have to go through what she did, and wants people to spread the word that there is hope and you can get through it if you do get it.
“I am now three years clear and every three months when I go for my pap smear, I do wonder that if the cancer came back, could I go through it all again. The answer is yes! My kids need me!”, says Sambhi.