January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
The start of a new year typically brings a renewed motivation to put oneself first and pursue better health. For women, taking charge of cervical health is vital in preventing cancer and HPV. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, close to 13,000 women in the U.S. receive a cervical cancer diagnoses every year. However, cervical cancer is preventable with vaccination and regular screenings, including pap smears and HPV tests.
While there is much to know about HPV and cervical cancer, it’s important to remember that early detection is vital. Most sexually active people will have HPV at some point, and while there is no treatment for the virus itself, the diseases it can cause can be treated. You can get ahead of both high and low risk HPV by getting yourself or your child vaccinated. The vaccine is available for those starting at age 11 or 12 through age 26. Routine pap tests are also important as they can identify cell changes to the cervix, allowing the healthcare provider to know your risk for cervical cancer, allowing you to stay one step ahead. Screening is just as important for those in long-term, monogamous relationships as those with multiple partners since the virus can go undetected for years.
Take this month as a way to remind yourself of the importance in taking charge of your health, and use the opportunity to promote awareness to your loved ones. No woman should have to die from this preventable disease. If you are due for a screening, or have a daughter or loved one who is, visit one of our offices today. No appointment is necessary, but you can save your spot before your arrival with our virtual check in tool.