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January 2024

 

 

Cervical Health Awareness Month

 

January 2024 Blog

Happy 2024! As we enter a new year, we always hope for happiness, success, and good health. Talking about good health and how it can be achieved is one of the many things we do here at PTI. Keeping that in mind, let’s talk about gynecology and, specifically, cervical health.

 

Cervical cancer used to be one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in American women. The death rate dropped dramatically once the Pap test started being used. However, there are still more than 14,000 women in the United States diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year.

 

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus passed from one person to another during sex. There are more than 150 related viruses with only a few being high-risk. Most cervical cancers were found to be caused by the 14 high-risk types of HPV. For most people who have HPV, it will go away on its own. But for some people, it doesn’t go away and becomes chronic. It is these chronic infections that can lead to cervical cancer in women. The HPV test is a screening test used to detect the presence of HPV virus on the cervix.

 

The American Cancer Society cervical cancer screening recommendations are as follows:

  • Start cervical cancer screening at age 25. People under age 25 should not be tested because cervical cancer is rare in this age group
  • Women between the ages of 25 and 65 should get a primary HPV test done every 5 years. If a primary HPV test is not available, a co-test (an HPV test with a Pap test) every 5 years or a Pap test every 3 years.
  • Women who are 65 years and older and have no history of cervical cancer within the past 25 years and who have documented adequate negative prior screening in the past 10 years, discontinue all cervical cancer screening

Note: There are some variations in cervical cancer screening recommendations between different organizations.

 

There are many types of cervical cancer and catching any of these early allows for more treatment options. Unfortunately, not all women get screened. Socioeconomic factors with low-income women not having easy access to health care services which includes cervical cancer screening, not being able to take time off from work, lack of or inadequate health insurance, and transportation issues are all reasons they may have not been screened. Cervical cancer may also be prevented by getting the HPV vaccine and learning ways to practice safe sex.

 

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to schedule an annual checkup, make sure to include not only your primary doctor, but your gynecologist. Happy New Year!

 

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines.html

https://www.nccc-online.org/cervical-health-awareness-month/

https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine-for-hpv.html

 

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