Preventative testing may seem like a hassle, but it is essential to keeping your body healthy.
In previous years, cervical cancer was one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women, but that rate has significantly decreased as cervical screening has increased.
The screening procedure, also known as a pap smear, can find changes in the cells of the cervix before cancer develops and can also find cervical cancer early when it's small and easier to cure. Cervical cancer screening is recommended every three years for persons with a cervix, ages 21-65 (excluding those who have had a total hysterectomy).
If you have a family history of cervical cancer or are considered to be at a higher risk, you may be eligible for more frequent screenings; It is always a good idea to ask your primary care provider for their recommendation since they know you best. Cervical cancer screening is considered preventative care, meaning most insurance will cover a pap smear.
Our women’s health providers are available to both new and established patients- they provide all aspects of gynecological care, especially pap smears! So, don’t delay and schedule your next preventative screening!
Additional information & statistics on Cervical Cancer:
CDC reports that more than 9 out of 10 cases of cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus).
HPV testing can be done at the same time as a pap smear (called co-testing) or separately. The sample is collected during a gynecological examination and sent to the lab where they test for the virus and look for abnormal cells.
Vaccination can prevent cervical precancers caused by the HPV types most often linked to cervical cancer.
HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screenings have made it one of the most preventable cancers.
American Cancer Society. Cancer Statistics Center. http://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org. Accessed April 4, 2023.