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Local mom shares story of survival & early warning signs of cervical cancer

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local mom was speaking up about the same cancer for which sports reporter Erin Andrews was recently treated.

Cervical cancer was not commonly discussed which was why a mom said she was talking about it. She felt she needed to talk about the diagnosis because often the cancer was called the "cancer you catch from HPV." She said that was not always true.

Shannon Villalba had a rare kind with symptoms anyone might miss and she was grateful that Erin the sportscaster wass giving it a new voice.

Villalba shared in the beginning, "I started having some abnormal bleeding."

Months later she finally got the right testing and when her doctor came back with the results they said it was late stage cervical cancer. The single mom started to fight, first against the idea that it was only a cancer women could catch from the Human Papillomavirus and then for her own life. She fought with treatment and a lot of prayer.

During that time she also reached out to Jan Middleton of Pink Ribbon Girls. They provide free support for younger women diagnosed with cancer.

Middleton said, "We supply meals, transportation, and peer support."

Jan too is a cancer survivor who knows sometimes you have to be your own cancer advocate.

Villalba was declared cancer free. One of the important things to know is that a pap test won't always tell women if they have the kind of cancer Villalba had, which was why people need to pay attention to the early warning sings.

CLICK HERE for a link to Pink Ribbon Girls.

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