When a pelvic exam in the summer of 2009 revealed an irregular Pap test result, Diane Crawford, 48, from Westerville, Ohio, wasn’t overly concerned at first.
But in a follow-up meeting with her ob/gyn, the doctor confirmed cancer and suggested a procedure to determine how far along the cancer was. The doctor explained that a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV, was most likely the cause.
In late summer, Diane had a colposcopy, a procedure to biopsy and stage cervical cancer, and her primary doctor contacted Dr. David Cohn at the OSUCCC — James to ask if he could take on Diane as a patient.
Diane and her husband met with Dr. Cohn and immediately felt secure. She recalls how friendly, welcoming and down to earth he was.
Dr. Cohn explained the stage of Diane’s cancer and the plan to treat and remove it. Surgery, he explained, would be the best treatment approach for Diane’s particular type and stage of cancer.
Emotions were running high, but Diane remembers walking out to the parking lot after her meeting with Dr. Cohn thinking, “We got this.”
Dr. Cohn used the Da Vinci robot to perform a radical hysterectomy, which removes the vagina, cervix and uterus, to ensure all of Diane’s cancer was out.
She took about two weeks to recover. “I only had six tiny incisions that healed quickly,” Diane said.
Diane was so impressed with the care she received at the OSUCCC — James for cervical cancer that she formed a charity, The Crawford Crew, to educate the public on how to prevent cervical cancer, primarily through vaccination against HPV and yearly exams.
She has raised $50,000 in the past four years for cervical cancer prevention programs. Her goal is to raise $1.8 million, the amount of money it would cost to buy a new Da Vinci robot — the robot that saved her life.
Diane said she is passionate about opening up the conversation about HPV, how it is contracted and what can be done to prevent it.
“If you could prevent lung cancer with three little shots and $1,000, would you have your kids get that vaccine?” she asked.