Embarrassment is making women avoid smear tests

Embarrassment is making women avoid smear tests

According to a recent study by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, worrying results suggest that women who are most susceptible to the illness are avoiding mandatory smear tests over body-image concerns, despite the fact that these tests can lead to the early detection of cancer cells.

HPV infections are normally sexually transmitted, but not all cervical cancers originate from viral infections.

It's estimated that about 79 million Americans have HPV but many don't even know they're infected, as most people never develop symptoms.

The vaccine comes in two doses and targets HPV types - such as 16 and 18 - that are known to be the most common causes of cervical cancer. "The consensus in the United States, which is very similar to the population here, is to do a pap smear and HPV vaccination from 21 onwards because HPV needs 7 to 12 years to develop so it's extremely rare to have it earlier". Women should begin a pap smear test beginning at age 21 to test for abnormal cells. "During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week we want to encourage women to talk to their friends, mothers and daughters about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of cervical cancer". Early detection of cervical cancer improves the five-year survival rate for women with cervical cancer to 91 percent compared to 17 percent if the cancer is found too late.

Cervical cancer is highly preventable.

The campaign is being launched to coincide with European Cervical Cancer Week and the Pearl of Wisdom Campaign, which has been running since 2008.

Surgery - If the cancer is still in Stage II, surgery is done to remove the cancerous tissues or cells; however, surgeries differ from cervical conization to simple hysterectomy to radical hysterectomy (removal of uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and surrounding tissues). Those efforts included telephoning women to set dates for Pap and HPV tests, and following up with those who made appointments but didn't keep them.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but instead a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix - the entrance to the womb.

"99.99 percent of cervical cancers we think are caused by HPV", Duska said. "Like other vaccines, the HPV vaccine must be given before possible exposure to the disease to be effective in preventing illness". The task force does not recommend the HPV test for women under age 30.

In North Lincolnshire there are between 10 and 15 women newly diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine provides close to 100 percent protection against precancers and genital warts. "You don't get cervical cancer without being exposed to HPV infection". HPV vaccines are licensed, safe and effective.

To increase awareness about cervical cancer this month, Malpass and Duska believe that more primary care physicians, pediatricians, and community members with adolescent and younger children need to be better educated about cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine.

Limit sexual contact to one partner. In November, the Navy hospital received a Military Health System High Reliability in Healthcare Award in the health care quality and patient safety category.

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