A healthy cervix is an unlikely addition to any woman's list of New Year's resolu tions, but is definitely one that shouldn't be overlooked! With few simple steps, most women can greatly reduce their risk of developing cervical health problems like cervical dysplasia, and more seriously, cervical cancer.
January is dedicated to raising awareness about the prevention of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is currently the second-leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. Each year, an estimated 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of those, approximately one-third will die as a result of the cancer. However, it does not have to be this way. The truth is; most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented!
Thanks to improved screening and vaccination techniques, cervical cancer has become a highly preventable and treatable form of cancer.
ln the upcoming weeks, women across the country are encouraged to take a proactive stance in the early diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer by being screened for cervical cancer and receiv ing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
From the Pap Smear Screening to the HPV vaccine, cervical cancer can be eradicated. Here's to a healthy cervix in 2015!
- Get a Pap Smear. Many women don't realize how important having a regular Pap Smear can be in preventing cervical cancer. 11% of United States women report that they do not have their Pap Smear screenings. It is recommended that women ages 21-29 get a pap screening at least every three years, and women 30-65 should get a screening at least every five years. Of course, some women may require more frequent scree nings .
- Follow your doctor's recommendations. In order to prevent cervical cancer, women must be proactive in their healthcare. Never leave the doctor's office until you have a complete under standing of the follow-up plan. Know the what's, when's, and why's of your plan!
- Get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. You may be wondering how a vaccine can help keep your cervix healthy. The HPV vaccine protects against common sub-s trains of the human papillo mavirus known to cause cervical cancer in women. Women infected with these high risk strains develop cervical dysplasia. When left unmonitored and untreated, high risk cervical dysplasia can develop into cervical cancer.
Ideally, women should get the vaccine before they become sexually active and risk being exposed to HPV. While it is suggested that girls get vaccinated between the age of 11 and 12, the vaccination is also recommended for girls and women 13 through 26 years of age who have not been vaccinated or completed the vaccine series.
If you are interested in learning more about cervical cancer screenings or HPV vaccinations, please contact our office today.