Did you know roughly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year? As one of the most common cancers affecting women, it’s important to understand this disease and how to prevent, diagnose, and treat it with the help of your gynecologist. That’s why January is officially deemed Cervical Health Awareness Month. If you’re unfamiliar with the risk factors and screening options associated with cervical cancer, here’s what your women’s health clinic wants you to know.
Understanding Your Cervical Health
What Risk Factors Should You Be Aware of When it Comes to Cervical Cancer?
There are a variety of risk factors associated with cervical cancer. Certain types of the sexually transmitted disease HPV, or human papillomavirus, have strong links to vaginal and cervical cancer; therefore, women with HPV are encouraged to stay vigilant and schedule routine screenings and pap smears. Other risk factors for cervical cancer include smoking cigarettes, a family history of this form of cancer, and a diet that’s low in nutrient and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Gynecologists also encourage all patients to maintain a healthy weight as obesity has been linked to this cancer as well.
To reduce your odds of getting cervical cancer, women’s health professionals recommend patients quit smoking and maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Your gynecologist will also recommend getting the HPV vaccine if you’re under the age of 26 and wearing condoms during intercourse to reduce the likelihood of getting HPV.
How Often Should You Receive Cervical Health Screenings from Your Gynecologist?
In an effort to catch cervical cancer early on, the American Cancer Society recommends women get their first pap smear and HPV screening at the age of 21. After this initial screening, it’s important to get your pap smear every three years between the ages of 21 and 29. Women aged 30 to 65 should visit their gynecologist for a screening every 3 to 5 years.
With three locations, nine highly skilled physicians, and a 25-year track record, Hilltop Obstetrics & Gynecology has become Ohio’s leading women’s health clinic. If you’re looking for an experienced, dedicated gynecologist who believes in helping patients stay healthy and informed through every life stage, call today at (513) 424-1440 to schedule your first appointment. To learn more about this trusted gynecology center and the variety of treatments they provide, from cervical health screenings to menopause management, visit their website.