January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Please read the following informative article from Dr. Samir Khanjar of Union OB/GYN, to find out how early detection through proper screening is key in the fight against cervical cancer.
Cervical Health Awareness
Before the 1950s, cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among women. Then doctors developed the Pap Test. This simple test now saves the lives of 70 percent of women who otherwise would have died from the disease. Still, it is estimated that 10,000 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year.
Women should start their gynecologic exams at age 18 or when they become sexually active.
The recommendations for how often and what type of Pap have recently changed because of advancements in Pap smear technology. Sometimes an additional test for HPV (Human Papillomavirus), a sexually-transmitted disease and the primary cause of almost all cervical cancer, is needed.
If your test results are abnormal, your physician may conduct further testing or recheck a Pap more frequently than routine screening. It is important that all women get their gynecological exams annually, and at that visit discuss how frequently and what type of pap smear gets performed.
To schedule your annual gynecologic exam, call Union OB/GYN at 443-245-7377.