Cervical cancer awareness month: How to protect yourself

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 7:17 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -The beginning of the year is a good reminder to schedule your cervical screening.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable female gynecologic cancers which is why Dr. Crystal Adams, a gynecologic oncologist, says routine screenings are critical to catch it early on.

“Although the rates have been declining significantly in the United States, in 2020 almost 14,000 women were predicted to have a new diagnosis of cervical cancer.”

Cervical cancer awareness month
Cervical cancer awareness month(KOLO)

She said cervical cancer checkups include pap smears and receiving HPV vaccines, as the human papillomavirus can lead to cervical and throat cancers.

“If you have an abnormal result, make sure you follow up,” said Dr. Adams. “If you have an abnormal pap smear then often times we’ll recommend a more detailed examination with a microscope which may involve cervical biopsies detecting precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix early on.”

A healthy lifestyle can help fight cervical cancer as well as staying active.

“Other risk factors include smoking, so cutting down and optimally quitting smoking would be ideal for prevention as well as limiting the number of sexual partners,” added Dr. Adams.. “Although we’ve made significant strides, its important to note that cervical cancer has not been eradicated and we still see a significant number of cases in the northern Nevada region so it’s something we still have to keep working on.”

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