Although there is no cure for cancer, there are preventative measures that you can take in order to detect the early signs of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is reportedly the easiest gynecologic cancer to detect. That is why it’s important for women to receive regular screenings in order to catch the formation of abnormal cells before they become cancer.
What Is a Cervical Cancer Screening
A Cervical cancer screening is one of the most reliable and effective screening tests available. It’s a preventative test of the cells located on the cervix that works to identify abnormal and threatening cells before they become cancerous. There are two screening tests available that can help prevent cervical cancer if it is found early enough. These tests include the pap test and the HPV test. The pap test is intended to identify abnormal changes in the appearance of the cells located on the cervix. The HPV test is designed to identify the actual virus that is responsible for these changes in the cells. However, the HPV test is usually not required for all patients, and you should discuss with your doctor if the HPV test is necessary for you.
During the screening process, your medical professional will typically use a special tool called a speculum to widen the vaginal region in order to make the cervix more visible. A few cells are then collected from the cervix area. They are then placed in a specified container to be sent to a laboratory for testing to ensure the cell samples test normal. If you have decided to also receive an HPV test during your pap screening, the collected cells will also be tested for that as well. Your doctor may also include a pelvic exam to ensure organs such as the ovaries and the uterus appear normal. A standard pelvic exam can also be performed without receiving a pap test in order to guarantee optimal health and function.
When To Begin Screening
The typical age in which it becomes appropriate for women to begin scheduling screenings for cervical cancer is typically age 21. It is important to continue these screenings for women between the ages of 21 to 65, even if you believe you are past the age of having children, or are not sexually active. It’s also important to keep in mind that cervical cancer screenings are only effective at detecting cervical cancer, not other cancers, such as vaginal, ovarian, or uterine cancer. So even if you do receive regular pap tests as instructed by your doctor, if you experience any irregular symptoms, it’s important to consult your doctor, and receive preventative tests for any health concerns you may have.
Having regular cervical cancer screenings performed is an easy and effective way to monitor your health, and prevent the formation of cancer in the future. If you are a woman who is 21 or older, now is the time to begin receiving cervical cancer screenings regularly. If you are ready to take the precautionary measures necessary for preventing cervical cancer, reach out to our office here at Orange Blossom Women’s Group and speak to one of our caring professionals. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!