Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
An estimated 13,000 women receive a cervical cancer diagnosis each year. About 4,000 women die from the disease each year. This makes cervical cancer the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Thankfully, these numbers are significantly lower than 40 years ago, as more women are learning about and utilizing prevention options, cervical cancer tests, and treatment possibilities.
Cervical Cancer Awareness and Prevention
January is cervical cancer awareness month. It’s a great time to learn about cervical health for the New Year and about how to best prevent cervical cancer. Tests are available to screen women for cancerous or precancerous cells within their cervix, and the sooner and more regularly women have these pap smears, the better. The key to high survival rates is regular screenings and early detection, so it is recommended that women have a pap test every 3 years. Some women may wish to have a cervical cancer test more frequently than that, particularly if they have a family history of cervical cancer or other reproductive health concerns.
Cervical Cancer Test
It is important to note that most cancers do not have associated symptoms until they are relatively advanced, and cervical cancer is no different. A woman with early, stage I cervical cancer will likely have no pain or visual signs of the cancer, so the only way she could discover it is through a cervical cancer test, like a pap smear. A pap test involves your doctor scraping cells from your cervix which are then examined in a lab. If abnormal cells are found, your doctor will order more tests, such as an HPV DNA test, a punch biopsy, or an endocervical curettage. More tests may be done if results remain worrisome, but all women over the age of 21 should be getting regular pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.
Where Can I Get a Cervical Cancer Test?
Most insurance companies cover regular pap smears as they are considered vital to cancer prevention and overall women’s health. Your local North County Health Services (NCHS) clinic can provide you with a pap smear and other cervical cancer tests if you need them. Our multiple locations offer a variety of services, including women’s health services and cervical cancer screenings. Our San Marcos, Mission Mesa, and Encinitas health centers all provide both general women’s health services and cervical cancer tests.
Stay Proactive and Bring Awareness
Thousands of women have experienced a cervical cancer diagnoses, but late stage cervical cancer doesn’t have to be a reality for most. Prevention is absolutely vital, and that includes staying proactive in getting your screenings done and staying as healthy as possible. January is cervical cancer awareness month, so be sure to spread the word to all the women you know to embrace preventative measures. Early detection increases the likelihood of survival, complete healing, and a great quality of life, so schedule your appointment with an NCHS women’s health clinic today to get your cervical cancer screening done now!