A 22-year-old cancer survivor encourages exams

After two exciting, busy years as a student at the University of Tennessee, it was the spring semester of junior year when Alexandra Higgins had a routine pap smear, but the results she faced were anything but routine.

Alex Higgins had uterine cancer.

The summer of her junior year, Higgins faced two rounds of chemotherapy. An attempted tracheotomy was unsuccessful, therefore; she would undergo radiation every day for two months plus chemotherapy once a week.

The following spring a scan showed the cancer had returned, but it was localized which allowed doctors to perform a hysterectomy.

“I look at life so differently now,” Higgings says, “I take every experience and try to live to the fullest.”

Twenty-two year old Higgins is back in school at UT where she is an ambassador and orientation leader. The orientation leaders honor one student with the Alex Higgins Award presented by Chancellor Jimmy Cheek.

Higgins says she has been cancer free since November.

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