In honor of the recently passed national Cervical Health Awareness Month, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is here to remind you of all you can do to both prevent cervical cancers and help spread awareness of potential prevention options. Each year, almost 13,000 women in the US alone are diagnosed with cervical cancer according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC). By educating women about cervical cancer and what they can do to prevent it’s spread, it is our goal to drastically reduce this number in the years to come.
Though cervical cancer was once among the most common causes of cancer death for American women, the cervical cancer death rate has decreased considerably over the last 30 years. This is largely in part to the increased prevalence of cervical cancer screening tests. Regular screening can detect changes that occur in the cervix before cancer has a chance to develop. Screening can also detect cervical cancer early enough to treat it before it has a chance to grow and spread.
Another great way for young women to significantly reduce their risk for cervical cancer is to get vaccinated for human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer. We highly recommend any woman between the ages of 9 and 26 receive their HPV vaccine before it is too late to do so.
In addition to providing HPV vaccinations, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett also offers pap smears and cervical cancer screenings. Doctors typically recommend that patients begin Pap testing at age 21 and continue every 3 years (at a minimum) until age of 65. However, here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we believe that most patients should undergo Pap testing annually to best keep an eye out for potential abnormalities. This is especially true for women who have not received the HPV vaccination.
We encourage anyone reading this to help spread the word about cervical health awareness to the women in their life. Awareness and education can go a very long way in the fight against cervical cancer and HPV. For more information or if you would like to request a screening appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more stories, tips and updates.