Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) is here!

January is CCAM and we couldn’t be more excited about having a whole month to bring awareness to our communities about this preventable cancer. It is estimated that about 13,240 new cases of invasive cervical cancers will be diagnosed in the United States, while 4,170 U.S. women will die from cervical cancer. While that number may seem low, for us at Cervivor, it is 4,170 TOO MANY.

Most importantly, we know the cause of cervical cancer – HPV. The human papillomavirus (HPV), is very common. There is a safe and effective vaccine to protect against this virus, that can be given to boys and girls before exposure. How exciting that we have a vaccine to protect against CANCER!!!

At Cervivor, we put the focus on our stories. We share our stories of HPV and cervical cancer in hopes that others will not have to face the devastation of this disease. Our organization provides support for those facing cervical cancer, as well as those who are learning to walk in survivorship. Many of us have felt the shame and stigma associated with our cancer. However, we find that together we are stronger. We find that sharing our stories not only helps us to heal but it also makes us powerful advocates. We find that sharing our stories makes us shame resilient.

How can you be involved?

CCAM is a unique opportunity for us to focus on prevention and awareness every day. Throughout the month, we will have regular CCAM posts on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. These posts are designed to educate those in our network and beyond. We will be sharing our Cervivor stories , videos, blogs, and graphics to show the world that cervical cancer doesn’t have to happen to them or someone they love.

We also have several live events scheduled throughout the U.S., in addition to a CCAM Tweetchat on January 16.


Click here to check for events in your area.

Our CCAM hashtags: #CCAM #CervicalCancer #EndCervicalCancer #Cervivor #WeAreCervivor

Will you commit to being part of our efforts during CCAM? With your help we can reach even more people and end cervical cancer.

Thanks for your support,
Team Cervivor

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Cancer & Self Image

I have learned so much from cancer. They say, “Through darkness comes light.” I really believe that’s true.

In remission for the third time, having to lose my hair due to chemotherapy was hard on me as a woman. I know most will say, “It’s just hair.” Even I say it too, just to convince myself to stay strong. But, in fact, it sucks. It truly opened my eyes to everything I once wasn’t happy with.

Having cervical cancer reminded me of how I was so hard on myself and picked myself apart. I know I’m not the only woman who’s ever felt that way. I look back and think, “Wow Jill, you were so beautiful. Why didn’t you see it? Why did you pick yourself apart and not embrace your hips that measured 44 inches, or embrace your Roman nose?” After all, it’s my personal features that give me my character. Don’t get me wrong, I had confidence, but I still found things that I thought weren’t “perfect.” Nothing is perfect!

Every now and then I like to look back on pictures of myself before cancer. Why did I complain? I was fine the way I was. Now I’m fighting something more meaningful. I’m fighting for my life. I’ve learned to embrace life’s changes, how my body has changed and how I’m Mrs. T (bald) once again. Or how going #2 is completely different from before. Because I have a colostomy bag, this is now totally different.

So my advice to other women, especially women with cancer is to love WHO YOU ARE. Be happy with how you were created; focus on what you HAVE and NOT what you DON’T. Believe me, there’s something greater out there for you, if you believe. I’m a people watcher, sounds creepy I know. I often wonder to myself whether or not the person I’m admiring knows how eccentric he or she is. Being in the city regularly due to my medical appointments, I get to see all colors of the rainbow. The culture differences, the true beauty behind just how different we may look. But internally we’re all the same.

No matter what type of cancer you have ladies, just remember, you’re beautiful inside and out. Your inner beauty will always be there. We might need time adjusting to our shiny new heads or new gadgets attached to our bodies. But, with all the hardships that come along with our new appearances and emotions due to cancer, just remember how bad ass we truly are.

I hope to inspire other women dealing with Cervical Cancer to share their stories and true emotions without fear. Tell it how it Is; don’t hold back. Our cancer is tough, but somehow being painted as “easy.” If I can reach you with my story, just imagine who you’ll inspire by sharing yours. Let’s come together, share our stories, and help one another through our battles. We can help prevent future cases of Cervical Cancer, the one cancer that can often be prevented with a vaccine.

From now on, I’m going to love every inch of me because I’m beautiful inside and out. I will also remind my friend’s how beautiful they are as well. You have one life. Live it, love it, embrace the changes, take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself and others.

Now that I’ve gained my confidence back, I’m going to rock my bald head, wear my wigs and not care who’s looking. Because they could really be thinking, “Wow, she’s so fierce.” Those stares may not have anything to do with my cancer.

So gentlemen, don’t be afraid of our appearances, we’re strong women who know how valuable life is, how anything can change but we still ride the waves. How special love truly is. If you see a friend or a loved one going through the changes of cancer, please remind them how beautiful they are.

Jillian Scalfani is a young 34-year-old mother with an incurable form of cervical cancer. She and her children have a great support system when it comes to her friend’s and family. Read more about Jillian here.