DEAR ABBY: A childhood friend of mine died from cervical cancer. "Katy" died because she didn't go to her OB/GYN for annual Pap smears.
She was a beautiful, intelligent, talented wife and mother who was responsible in every other way. Katy simply couldn't face a pelvic exam because throughout her childhood she had been molested by her father. I know it's true, because her father molested me, too.
Katy's doctor told her that had it been caught in the early stages, her cancer would have been curable. She hadn't been to see her OB/GYN since her last child was born nine years before. Because of what her father did to her, she was unable to allow anyone other than her husband to touch her.
Abby, my friend suffered during the time between her diagnosis and her death. She fought to stay alive for her husband and children, whom she loved with all her heart. But in the end, cancer took her, and her family will suffer for years to come.
PLEASE remind every woman and sexually active teenage girl about the importance of a yearly exam. Those who feel they can't deal with the exams should force themselves to talk to their OB/GYN and explain their fear. Otherwise, the sexual predators win again. I think they should be held accountable for the deaths for which they are ultimately responsible. -- SICK OF MOLESTERS
DEAR SICK OF MOLESTERS: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your friend. She won't have died in vain if women of every age heed your message about the importance of regular pelvic examinations, which should start as soon as a girl becomes sexually active.