Among women in the United States, cervical cancer is all too common. In fact, cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women, but the good news is that is also one of the easiest forms of cancer to prevent. In our last blog, our OBGYN in Venice gave you a couple of tips to help you protect yourself against cervical cancer. Keep reading to learn more.
#3. Don’t skip your pap tests!
The earlier cervical cancer is detected, the more likely it is to be treatable, and since there are rarely symptoms with cervical cancer, the only way to detect it is with regular pap tests. Generally speaking, most women should have their first pap test at the age of 21, and they should be tested annually until they are 30. Between the ages of 30 and 60, you should have an HPV and a pap test every 5 years.
#4. Quit smoking.
Did you know that women who smoke are twice as likely to get cervical cancer? When you smoke, there are a plethora of chemicals that get absorbed into your lung and carried into your blood stream, and these chemical make it easier for HPV infections to morph into cervical cancer. Smoking also negatively affects your immune system, which makes it more difficult for your body to fight off an HPV infection.
#5. Know your family history.
If your sister or mother had cervical cancer, your risk will be 2-3 times higher than a woman with no family history of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, you can’t control your family history, but if it does involve cervical cancer, you can stay diligent about getting tested and vaccinated.
Are you due for a pap test? Contact us today to schedule your appointment.