January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

93% of cervical cancer is preventable and yet it is the 4th most common cancer among women. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and we’re looking at how to minimize your risk of cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer is an overgrowth of cells in the lower part of the uterus (the part that connects to the vagina). Cervical cancer is often due to a long-lasting infection of HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.

But there are ways to minimize your chances of getting HPV and, in turn, cervical cancer. The first is to get vaccinated for HPV. All preteens are eligible for the HPV vaccine, which is given around age 11 or 12. Additionally, limiting your number of sexual partners, and making sure to use a condom with any sexual partners, also helps limit your chances of an HPV infection. It is important to remember that most people with HPV don’t know they have it since many people do not develop symptoms. However, according to the CDC, almost every sexually active person will get HPV at some point if they do not get vaccinated.

For those who are older (over age 21), regardless of whether they received the HPV vaccine, it is important to get a pap test/pap smear at least once every 3 years. A Pap smear checks for the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix. It is important to get regular pap smears/tests. If cervical cancer is caught early, it is one of the most successfully treated. Most invasive forms of cervical cancer were found in women who had not had a pap smear in more than 5 years.

If you want to get vaccinated for HPV or get a pap smear, PDCHC can help. Call 502-774-4401 to make an appointment in our women’s health department.

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Protect yourself against COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Protect yourself against COVID-19 (coronavirus) by covering your nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your primary care provider.

To protect Patients and Staff we are asking:

  • All patients call before walking into the health center
  • Patients 60 years and older accept a telephone visit rather than walking into the health center for an appointment
  • Do NOT bring anyone with you to your appointment unless medically necessary

 

Do NOT come to the health center within your 14 day isolation/quarantine period