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Beacon doctor urges cervical cancer screenings in new campaign

When approached by the American Cancer Society to be Indiana’s expert spokesperson about cervical cancer, its impact on the Black community and the importance of prevention and screening, Dr. Nonyem Onujiogu didn’t hesitate.

“It’s the right thing to do,” she said.

Dr. Onujiogu, gynecologic oncologist at Beacon Medical Group Women’s Surgical Gynecology/Oncology at Memorial Regional Cancer Center, is featured in the new “Get Screened” campaign launching now in Indiana; watch the video below.

High stakes: Saving lives

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a national trend of alarmingly low cancer screening rates in the U.S., including cervical cancer screenings. This, in addition to existing barriers to care for Black women, is bringing a new urgency to prevention and screening efforts.

“First, education is important — people need to understand what cervical cancer is and know that it can be prevented,” Dr. Onujiogu said. “Second, we need to address the stigma and socioeconomic barriers that prevent women from going to the doctor. It’s frustrating to see patients come in with a diagnosis that can be prevented.”

In the campaign videos, Dr. Onujiogu’s message is concise and direct: Get to the doctor. A visit to the doctor can save your life.

“Cervical cancer doesn’t have symptoms until it’s very advanced,” Dr. Onujiogu said. “So, the way to prevent it and to catch it early is to make sure that women are showing up to their doctors’ offices and getting pap smears.”

She urges those who are 25 years or older to talk to a doctor and get screened for cervical cancer.


Giving her all with compassionate care for our community

Dr. Onujiogu joined Beacon in 2015 as Michiana’s only female gynecologic oncologist. A 2019 Coaches vs. Cancer: Hope Award honoree, Dr. Onujiogu is passionate about women’s health and is always willing to do what she can to help educate others with potentially lifesaving information.

She said bonding with patients and families during her rotation in gynecologic oncology during her residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center influenced her decision to specialize in the field. Her fascination of surgical techniques — including robotics — cinched the deal.

“It’s a very difficult field of medicine, but I knew patients need someone who genuinely cares to walk with them through it.”

As she follows her patients through treatment and well into survivorship, Dr. Onujiogu develops a strong and oftentimes lifelong relationship with them and their families.

“My patients know how much I care about them,” she said. “I treat them as I would my mother, my aunt, my family — and I give them my all.”

Learn more
Dr. Onujiogu and all of Beacon’s providers and clinicians are dedicated to Clinical Excellence, ready to care for you and your family no matter what comes your way. Learn more about cervical cancer and schedule your wellness visit today to talk to a Beacon provider about your risks and concerns.