We hope everyone is having a happy and healthy start to their new year. In honor of Cervical Health Awareness Month this January, we thought now would be a great time to discuss this topic and the importance of cervical health. The goal of this awareness month is to provide useful information on cervical cancer and how it can be prevented and treated. That’s why our board-certified gynecologists and reproductive healthcare providers are more than happy to share the following statistics and facts.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 14,000 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the US last year. The average age at diagnosis is 50 and the majority of cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35-44. Cervical cancer was the cause of almost 4,300 deaths in 2020 as well. Although it used to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American women, the mortality rate of cervical cancer has steadily decreased significantly since the 1970s. This is largely due to an increase in cancer screenings including regular Pap testing.
Although women in the early stages of cervical cancer may not experience any noticeable symptoms, there are warning signs that we recommend looking out for. This includes irregular vaginal bleeding that may occur after sex, between periods, or after a woman has experienced menopause. Cervical cancer can also cause pelvic pain as well as an abnormal vaginal discharge that can have a watery or bloody consistency.
Although it can be difficult to prevent cervical cancer, annual screening appointments and Pap testing can help detect precancerous cells so they can be addressed before turning into cervical cancer. Receiving an HPV vaccination is also critical, as in many cases cervical cancer originates from an HPV infection. In the case of a cervical cancer diagnosis, there are several effective treatment options available including surgery, radiation therapy, and a medicinal approach known as targeted therapy.
We know anything involving the “C” word can seem scary, but it’s important for women to understand their risk of cervical cancer and take a proactive approach to their reproductive health and wellness. For more information on cervical cancer or to request an appointment with one of our reproductive healthcare providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And follow us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, and more.