Cancer prevention can begin during a general gynecology visit. Common procedures such as a Pap smears with HPV screening can help detect early signs of cancerous cells on your cervix. Mammograms can detect early changes in breast tissue that could develop into breast cancer.
Women are recommended to have a Pap test at least once every year to make sure they do not have any pre-cancerous or cancerous changes on their cervix. HPV tests are recommended every year, especially for women between the ages of 30 and 65. All women should know their risks and begin cervical cancer screenings beginning at age 18 (or earlier if they are sexually active) to ensure their health is maintained.
There is an HPV vaccine available to all women, and it is recommended that women get this vaccine as early as 18 (or sooner if sexually active). HPV is one of the most common forms of sexually transmitted disease, and is a common cause of cervical cancer. Women should look into the HPV vaccine as soon as possible and continue to get screenings even after receiving the vaccine.
Mammograms are recommended every year, beginning at age 40. If you have a relative with a history of breast cancer, you may need to begin your annual screening earlier than 40 years of age. We will be happy to help schedule your mammogram with a local breast center, or give you information so you can schedule the appointment yourself.
Talk to your doctor about your cancer risks and what you can do to further prevent any form of gynecologic cancer.