Early detection of cancer is so important in successfully treating the disease, and this is certainly true of cervical cancer. Detection can even find pre-cancers, so you get proper treatment to stop the cancer from forming in the first place. So, how can you start protecting yourself from cervical cancer? We found a helpful resource from the American Cancer Society that laid out some specific tips!
Timing Your Screenings
Starting at age 21, women should have a Pap Smear test. Once a woman hits age 30, she should schedule the test along with an HPV test. HPV infection is the cause of almost all cervical cancers. Screening can be discontinued after age 65 in women with no history of abnormal Pap Smears.
Considering Current Health
If you are in good health, the above timing recommendations should be a successful fit, but women with a suppressed immune system will need to consult with a healthcare professional. An HIV infection, organ transplant, long-term steroid use or exposure to DES in utero may require that you are screened earlier and more often. Experienced doctors, like the ones at Mt. Auburn OBGYN, can help you find the right screening plan for your specific needs.
Clearing Up Misconceptions
There is a belief out there that women can stop their screenings once they are finished having children or if they have been vaccinated for HPV. This is untrue, and if you fall under either description, you will still want to schedule your screenings based on the age guidelines above.
If found early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. This is yet another reason to stay up to date on your screenings. Our doctors at Mt. Auburn OBGYN in Cincinnati are ready to help you get on the right schedule!