Baptist Health Richmond: Cervical Cancer Prevention
Learn how Baptist Health’s cervical cancer screening tests can aid in preventing cervical cancer. Early detection is vital for successful cervical cancer treatment.
Cervical Cancer Prevention in Richmond, KY, HealthTalks Transcript
Mary Montague, MD:
Cervical cancer is one of the cancers that we have a great screening test for and one that we can prevent before it becomes very serious for women. We screen for cervical cancer with cervical cell cytology, which is looking at cells to see if there are abnormalities in them. We test for human papillomavirus, which is a virus that can go inside the cells of the cervix and cause changes in the cells, ultimately leading to what we call dysplasia, which can then progress eventually to cancer.
Pap smears are so important because they’re one of the most effective screening tools that we have in the early detection and prevention of cancer. From the ages of 21 to 29, we recommend pap smears every three years, regardless of your medical history or if you’ve ever had a pelvic exam before. After the age of 30, depending on the results of your pap smear, we’ll do both the pap smear and screening for human papillomavirus or HPV. If both of those are normal, then the recommendation is you return every five years. Pap smears are really effective. They detect the changes in the cells years before they develop into cancer. Early detection with good follow-up and treatment as recommended can help prevent really serious cervical cancer.
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