According to the American Cancer Society, The most common type of cervical cancer begins with precancerous changes. The best way to prevent it is to find and treat precancers before they develop into invasive cancer, and the second best way is to prevent precancers in the first place.
Idaho Ranks #50 out of #52 (out of 52 when including DC and Puerto Rico) in cervical cancer screening. Let's change that!
The caring and knowledgeable gynecology team at Catalyst Medical Group offer cervical cancer screenings.
The human papillomavirus vaccine prevents infection by certain types of the human papillomavirus. Depending on which vaccine you receive, the HPV vaccine protects against two, four, or nine types of HPV — but all HPV vaccines protect against types 16 and 18, which are the types that cause the greatest risk of cervical cancer.
You should get an HPV vaccine if:
The American Cancer Society does not recommend the vaccine for people over age 26. Vaccinating young adults and older teenagers will not prevent as many cancers as vaccinating younger children.
Finding cervical cancer in its earliest stages is the key to successful treatment.
Catalyst Medical Group provides two screening tests that help prevent or find cervical cancer early:
The Pap test, also called a Pap smear, looks for cell changes on the cervix that could become cervical cancer, if left untreated. Pap tests detect precancers when the condition is easiest to treat.
HPV tests detect the human papillomavirus, which causes cell changes. Positive HPV test results indicate you have a type of high-risk HPV that is known to cause cervical cancer. It is a warning sign that you could have cervical cancer in the future.
Your doctor may suggest a colposcopy if you have an HPV test with an abnormal Pap test. During a colposcopy, your doctor uses a colposcope (special microscope) to look at the cervix, vulva, and vagina to see if there are abnormal cells or blood vessels that need further treatment.
You can help reduce your risk of cervical cancer by not smoking, limiting your number of sexual partners, and using condoms during sex. It’s important to understand that even though condom use is associated with lower rates of cervical cancer, the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown. Between 2015-2019, Idaho had 81 deaths from cervical cancer.
When and how often you should get screened for cervical cancer depends on your medical history, age, and the results of your last Pap test and HPV test. Catalyst Medical Group recommends the following guidelines:
Even though you don’t need the Pap and HPV test, you still need a yearly pelvic exam to look for ovarian cancer. Your doctor will recommend more frequent testing if you’ve had issues with your cervix before or have a weakened immune system.
Call Catalyst Medical Group in Lewiston, Idaho to schedule your appointment.