FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – January is cervical cancer awareness month, and according to the American Cancer Society, more than 13,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed this year.
Rachel Fleeton, 41, says she’s always been laid back in her approach to life. Unfortunately, that included how she approached routine medical care.
“I was the kind of person who wasn’t going to my doctor exams as I should, unfortunately, and this is the result,” Fleeton said.
The result she’s referring to was a diagnosis of advanced cervical cancer last summer, which lead to chemotherapy and radiation.
“It was extremely rough, it was extremely life-changing,” she said.
In the search for less a less toxic but equally beneficial approach to treating advanced-stage cervical cancer, Dr. Brian Slomovitz, a gynecological oncologist with Broward Health is leading a study into a new approach.
“We’re using an anti-tissue antibody in women with cervical cancer to see if it can work better than chemotherapy and become the standard of care for women with disease,” he said.
Slomovitz said when researchers first tested the immunotherapy agent, initial studies demonstrated greater effectiveness than standard chemotherapy.
“We can’t predict the results this is a large phase three registration trial, the results may change the way we treat patients but if it’s a positive trial we’re one step further to eliminating chemotherapy for this dreaded disease,” he said.
Fleeton is grateful to have overcome the difficulties of treatment and hopes other women will have a better option.
“I think anything that can improve getting rid of it is definitely a plus, definitely,” she said.
For more information about cervical cancer, trials and screenings at Broward Health, click here. People can also call 954-355-4345.