Woman with cervical cancer credits special Novant treatment for keeping her alive

A local woman who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer says treatments at Novant Health Gynecologic Oncology Associates are keeping her alive.

Channel 9′s Gina Esposito learned this is a battle Heidi Lima always knew she would have to fight.

She said she and her father share a rare genetic condition called Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. It causes polyps to form in the intestines, and it also puts someone at risk of developing certain cancers.

“The two that are supposed to be the lowest are colon cancer and cervical cancer. He had colon cancer, and I had cervical cancer,” Lima explained. “Shock. More about my family because that’s hard news to receive. I remember when I got his.”

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While Lima’s father was in full remission, she was diagnosed with cancer in February 2020.

Dr. Matt McDonald said her type of cervical cancer is so rare that it can’t be found through a pap smear.

However, four years later, Lima credits immunotherapy at Novant Health with saving her life. And while her cancer has recently returned, she isn’t giving up hope.

>> In the video at the top of the page, how she hopes her story can encourage others.

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