I do the free yearly medical exams provided by the Japanese national health system. I believe in catching any problems before they become bigger.
This year, I got a call from the gynecologist to pick up my pap smear results. From past experience, I knew this was a bad sign. If they call, it means there’s a problem.
So, it didn’t come as a surprise when the gynecologist said cells in my cervix were at the stage before cancer.
There are 4 pre-cancer stages. This was the 4th stage (HSIL) and the next stage, if nothing was done, would be cancer.
I was immediately referred to the Red Cross Hospital in Saitama. I got an appointment the following week. The hospital doctor did a more thorough exam and sent the cells to the lab.
After 2 weeks, the results confirmed the initial results. And showed the pre-cancer was only in the cervix. Surgery is the only option if you don’t want cancer / don’t want it to spread.
Of course, I didn’t want to have surgery. But I was extremely thankful that it had been found PRE - cancer and that it hadn’t spread. Please get your yearly checks, because this (and many cancers), you wouldn’t know you had until an advanced stage without checks.
Surgery was booked 2 weeks later.
My initial thoughts were:
- Thank goodness this was caught PRE - cancer and before it had spread.
- Thank goodness for free yearly medical checks.
- I love the professionalism of the Japanese health system. No long waits. Immediate referrals.