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Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women, and around 12,000 women were diagnosed last year in our country alone. Let's look into facts, risk factors and guidelines for early detection to keep us healthy.
If there's one thing you take away, though, know that cervical cancer is preventable -- there are vaccines, screenings and treatments to protect you.
Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), but having HPV does not mean you will get cervical cancer. Here's how it works:
Guidelines for Early Detection
As a rule of thumb, a woman should have her first screening no later than age 21, assuming she has not been sexually active until age 18. If younger than 18, cervical cancer screenings should begin 3 years after sexual activity. A Pap test is used to look for abnormal cells, and this routine part of a checkup should be completed at your gynecologist's recommendation.
By age 30, if you've had 3 normal Pap tests in a row, your gynecologist may be willing to test less often. If you have family history or a weak immune system, however, you still may be tested regularly.
If you're looking for a gynecologist for yourself or maybe a daughter now at the age to schedule her first appointment, use the Find a Doctor section on The Chester County Hospital's website to find one near you. Just enter your zip code and select "Obstetrics/Gynecology" from the specialty drop-down list. Read backgrounds on different physicians, call the office number listed, and voila! -- you have an appointment. Pretty easy, huh?
As with most diseases and cancers, there are some things you can control and some you can't. Check out these risk factors to see what you may be able to change to lower your risk of cervical cancer:
While we know that cervical cancer is among the most common types of cancer, half of the women who have been diagnosed had not been tested in the previous five years. That shows that regular screening is pretty important, don't you think? Use this information to make your own plan for screenings to keep yourself healthy.
A Night Just for Women
The Chester County Hospital is hosting The Total Woman, a special two-hour open house for women that introduces you to the many physicians and services located in our Exton Medical and Diagnostic Center. Health screenings, pampering, chair massages, wine and light refreshments add up to a healthy (and free!) evening focused on caring for you. Bring your mom, sister, daughter or a friend to join in the fun.
Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Open House
Location: Commons at Oaklands : 700 West Lincoln Highway, Exton, PA 19341
Registration: Please register by calling 610.738.2300 or click here
Information has been adapted from The American Cancer Society.
Last Updated: 4/29/2013