January is National Cervical Awareness Month. Although cervical cancer was once one of the leading causes of death among women, the number of deaths has drastically been reduced. Why? More awareness about cervical cancer and cancer, in general, has encouraged more women to get tested regularly. Hospitality Health ER in Longview is here to raise awareness because we know that early detection saves lives. Here are some things we think you should know about cervical cancer.
Hospitality Health ER in Longview Discusses Cervical Cancer Awareness
#1. Get your well-woman visit this year. Women should begin getting cervical screens for cervical cancer and precancerous cells starting at the age of 21. Most insurance plans cover well-woman visits and cervical cancer screening at no cost. Regular pap tests can detect abnormal cells and help find cancers early on.
#2. Provide sex education to teens regarding HPV. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Although most cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in mid-life between the ages of 35 and 44 years, sexually active teenagers should be informed about the risks of being exposed to HPV, including the risk of developing cervical cancer.
#3. Become educated about other risk factors. There are also other factors that increase the likelihood of developing cervical cancer. Women who smoke have two to five times the risk of cervical cancer than women who don’t smoke. Certain methods of birth control can also increase the risk of cervical cancer, especially if taken for five years or longer.
#4: Be aware of cervical cancer signs. Always stay tuned in to your body. If you have any unusual symptoms like unexplained pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or abnormal discharge, see your doctor immediately.