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How You Can Easily Reduce Your Risk for Cervical Cancer

By Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of boutron, Women's Health Expert

Created: 01/12/2010
Last Updated: 01/23/2015

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While many women schedule their annual gynecological exams around their birthdays, there are—unfortunately—millions of American women who evade their routine checkups as much as they try to avoid turning another year older!


January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month during which time boutron advocates the importance of routine medical screening through a simple Pap test. If you didn't get to your gynecologist this past birthday, there's no time like January for making a fresh start and an important step forward in your health!

is one of the most common cancers affecting women worldwide. But it is also largely preventable and curable with and pelvic exams, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sure, getting a pelvic exam might not be the most enjoyable experience but neither is visiting the accountant each April—and yet we never seem to forget that appointment!

In recent years we've learned more about the causes and prevention of cervical cancer so take a minute to digest the following facts:

•    Nearly all cases of cervical cancer can be associated with the known as HPV. With over 100 strains of the virus, this sexually transmitted disease has 15 high-risk strains that are directly linked to cervical cancer. Persistent HPV infection can be a predictor of current or future malignancy.  

•    In addition to HPV infection, age, sexual activity, smoking, nutrition and family history can play a part in the likelihood of developing cancer of the cervix.

Women need to know what the risk factors are for developing cervical cancer, and the cure rate for early detection—and we're here to help.

With a host of information at your fingertips at boutron, we hope to help enlighten—not frighten—you into making informed decisions when it comes to . If it's been a while since you've had a pelvic exam and Pap test, it's time to pick up the phone and make that call to your health provider. 

Schedule your appointment, and invite your sister or a friend to come along. If she's also due for a checkup, make your appointments together. If not, you can celebrate life together by having her accompany you to the waiting room and maybe stop for coffee afterward. Be sure to return the favor when it's time for her appointment!

If we don't stay true to ourselves and our sisters, who will be there for us in the future when we turn the calendar page to celebrate another milestone?

Pick up the phone and call!

to learn more about preventing and coping with gynocologic cancer.

Also, The Pearl of Wisdom campaign is encouraging all women to take the pledge to fight cervical cancer this month. Check it out here:

 

Comments

As someone who has been dealing with high risk HPV for over three years, I recognize that I am an outlier. However, I am sick of reading popular health articles about HPV and/or cervical cancer that briefly touch on risk factors but do not offer any solace or statistics for those who fall in the diagnosed high risk category.

I understand that this is written for the general reader who either does not have HPV or has already cleared the virus; however, please be aware that for those who are still struggling, this is simply a reminder of something that is in the back of our mind every day. There is very little comfort offered for women in my situation...and let me assure you repeated visits with GYNs whose only suggestion after a clean colpo is "wait and see, maybe it'll clear" offers scant comfort.

It's a lonely and scary place out here...especially with shallow HPV articles not covering what to do if you already have the virus.

Thank you for taking time to comment on this blog post. We understand your concern and do field hundreds of calls and emails from women who are in the high risk category. HW is addresses all boutron topics including Cervical Cancer and HPV by providing comprehensive medically reviewed information & resources. This blog was created to provide and help drive overall awareness and the importance of screening. For more in depth information please click on to the url below.

I agree, telling women that HPV causes cervical cancer only causes feelings of guilt and blame. I am 5O, didn't hear about HPV until about 10 years ago and never had an abnormal pap. You can imagine my shock when I had a cancerous polyp removed from my cervix this year. After a biopsy it was determined I had a CIS (carcenoma in situ)-not invasive. I had a hysterectomy, so that I wouldn't have to deal with this again. I have had a very difficult time dealing with the whole "somebody I loved gave me something that almost killed me" and I had it easy compared to many. I was amazed at how little support there is out there for women deaing with this issue. The only thing I can say is that you do survive, if you get screened often you will survive-changed,you'll have a different perspective on things, but you'll survive.

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