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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

January is cervical cancer awareness month we must all do our part to fight, support and offer hope to those affected. Cervical Cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina) grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when found early. So with many other cancers early detection saves lives. Cervical cancer is found at very early stage through pap test. Pap test are considered one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests as it looks for precancerous cell changes on the cervix. Many recommend that pap smears begin at the age of 21 or the age that one first has sex depending on which happens first.

Cervical cancer is leader of cancer deaths in women. Death can be avoided though through screenings and vaccinations. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a major risk factor that leads to cancer in women. HPV cause warts to appear on different parts of the skin or around genital organs. Young women are more exposed to HPV than older women, women who have healthy immune systems are less exposed to such type of infections but every year thousands of women are affected by this virus which leads to cancer. There are no signs or symptoms in early stages, but begin to appear in the later stages. Pap smears are the test that will detect early signs of cervical cancer.

Women ages 21-29 should be seen for pap test every 3 years
Women ages 30-65 should have both pap test and HPV test every 5 years
Women who have abnormal pap smear should go through further testing including repeat pap test or colposcopy which allows a closer look of the cervix.

  More information at National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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