Welcome January 2011 and National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!
It is that time of year for new beginnings and resolutions. Many of my patients have embraced this as an opportunity for self-improvement. If you are still searching for that ideal goal, I have the perfect resolution for you. January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Make a resolution to come in for your preventive health exam or encourage a family member who has neglected her own health to do so. The CDC reported as recently as 2002 that 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed annually in the U.S. This is disheartening. Cervical cancer is a 100% preventable disease!
Two of the biggest risk factors for the development of cervical cancer are lack of regular screening and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. We can now detect infection by high risk HPV even when the PAP smear cytology is normal. Further, surveillance and early treatment is proven to prevent progression to cancer. Patients need not fear a PAP smear or hearing that their result is abnormal. It is normal to be shy about such a personal exam, but PAP smears need not be painful at all. Indicated surveillance is done in the office using a special microscope called a colposcope to identify areas of abnormality. If treatment is required, it can be done with a simple outpatient procedure.
The worst thing a woman can do is to neglect or ignore this basic health need. For additional information check out http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/pap-test.cfm.
Schedule an appointment with OB JEN at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas by calling 512-83-OB-JEN. Visit us online at www.capobgyn.com.