It’s Cervical Cancer awareness month

Happy New Year everyone!  January marks a new year and cervical cancer awareness month.  I hope that by 2017, that will be a cure for all cancers.

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When talking about cancer, there are always lots of questions about who is at risk for developing it, the treatments, the signs and etc.  I am going to try to cover some of that in today’s blog post.  Let’s first look at the risk factors of cervical cancer.

Risk factors for cervical cancer : ( via www.cancer.org)

  • Having a family history of cervical cancer (a mother or sister) –chances are 2 to 3 times higher of developing cervical cancer
  • Being younger than 17 at your first full term pregnancy
  • Having had multiple full term births
  • Infection of HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Having used an IUD (Intrauterine device)
  • Long term use of oral contraceptives
  • Being overweight
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Those that have had a Chlamydia infection
  • Those that are on  immunosuppression medications
  • Those that have weakened immune systems
  • Those that have been exposed to DES (diethylstilbestrol)
  • Those that smoke

Just because you may have some or all of the risk factors above doesn’t mean that you will develop cervical cancer.  It just means that you have a higher chance of developing it.

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Here are the warning signs of cervical cancer.  If you are having these signs, please contact our physician for a pap smear and check up.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (i.e. bleeding after sex, bleeding between menstrual cycles, bleeding after menopause and etc.)
  • An unusual discharge from your vagina (often times between our periods)
  • Painful intercourse

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Typical ways for treating cervical cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  Depending on what stage the cancer is diagnosed at is exactly what treatment is used.

So if you haven’t had your pap smear somewhat recently, please schedule to have it done soon.

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