Occasionally I come across information that might be able to help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place and when I do, I just have to write about it. After all, prevention and early detection are key to beating cancer.
So here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 12,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer (where the cancer has spread into adjacent tissues) will be diagnosed this year in the US. And the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer in the first place is having had the human papillomavirus or HPV. This means that HPV can actually cause cervical cancer.
Although Gardasil is a vaccine that is now being given to many girls to help guard against HPV and cervical cancer, what about older women who have never received the vaccine? Is there a prescreening test for HPV and cervical cancer? YES! Check out the Digene HPV Test, an FDA-approved test to be used in combination with the Pap test in women over 30 years old.
Why age 30 and older? In women over 30 years of age, HPV infections are more likely to be persistent and potentially cancer-causing as opposed to HPV infections in women under 30, which are relatively common and usually go away on their own before they cause problems.
THE BOTTOMLINE: To reduce their risk of cervical cancer, women over the age of 30 should request (actually demand) this in addition to their annual PAP Test. BTW most insurance companies cover this screening.
To learn more about the digene HPV Test, check out www.theHPVtest.com. To find a Healthcare Provider in your area that utilizes this test, click HERE. To see how often you should have the HPV Test, click HERE.
Many, many thanks to @Jayferro & Priscilla’s Promise for helping raise awareness and fund research to cure cervical cancer. Join me in making Priscilla’s Promise “I promise to have an annual OB-GYN visit and ask my doctor about cervical cancer prescreening tests.” Be proactive…. get tested. It could save your life!