Most people have a list of things they'd rather do than go to the doctor. That list might include cleaning out the garage and painting the house, which says a lot about how enthusiastic most people are when it comes to medical appointments.
However, what if that one trip to the doctor could save a life? What if one routine test was capable of catching a truly dangerous disease in its early stages? That is the case with the pap smear and its ability to detect cervical cancer.
January may have been Cervical Health Awareness Month, but that doesn't mean it's too late to get in for that all important pap smear now. It doesn't matter if it's been a couple of years. It doesn't matter that it's kind of an uncomfortable subject to talk about, and it definitely doesn't matter that most women might prefer to do anything other than endure another pap smear. Yearly screenings are essential if cervical cancer is going to be caught in its earliest stages.
With more than 20 million Americans currently dealing with the human papillomavirus, or HPV, annual tests are more important than ever. HPV is a major contributing factor to cervical cancer, so it's important for women to know sooner rather than later if they are carrying this serious risk factor. Scientists have long since developed an HPV vaccine, and cervical cancer is highly preventable and treatable when it's detected early. That's the good news. Of course, getting in for that annual pap test is an important first step.
With a simple pap smear, doctors can determine whether or not abnormal cells are present. This brief, painless procedure makes it possible for doctors to discover the early warning signs of cervical cancer before it actually becomes cancer. With the proper follow up care, most women go on to lead active, healthy and long cancer free lives.
Encourage every woman you know to make that important appointment with her own doctor. Make sure she knows about the HPV vaccine, and how one quick test could literally save her life.
And for the record, HERE is our Medical Disclaimer.
Health & Wellness . . . You're Worth It!
Dr. Kate Gerber & Dr. John Gerber