Don’t Delay Cervical Cancer Screenings

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. It’s committed to increasing awareness of life-saving screenings for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is something that develops slowly over time and before it appears in the cervix, cells go through changes known as dysplasia, which allows abnormal cells to appear in the cervix. If these abnormal cells are not destroyed or removed, they can become cancerous and spread more deeply into the cervix and its surrounding areas.

According to the American Cancer Society, cervical pre-cancers are diagnosed far more often than aggressive cervical cancer. The 2023 estimates for cervical cancer in the United States are:

  • About 14,000 new cases of aggressive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
  • About 4,300 women will lose their lives to cervical cancer.

The most common way to prevent cervical cancer is to have screening tests. According to the American Cancer Society, the cervical cancer death rate has significantly dropped with the use of the Pap (Papanicolaou) test. This test allows cervix cells to be collected and looked closely at in a lab to determine cancer and pre-cancer.  Since almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus), another recommended test is called an HPV test. This test looks for infections by high-risk types of HPV that are more likely to cause cancer.

Women aged 20 and younger are seldom diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical Cancer is commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average diagnosis age of 50. Many older women do not realize that their risk of this cancer still develops as they age, so it’s important to follow the screening guidelines and receive regular screenings.

Don’t delay, schedule your cervical screening with your healthcare provider today!

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