Cervical cancer happens in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. Strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) may play a big part in causing cervical cancer. When you are exposed to HPV, your immune system will typically prevent the virus from doing any harm.
A very small percentage of people will have the virus stay present for years, causing some of their cervix cells to become cancerous. You can reduce your risk of cervical cancer by regularly getting screened.
When is the Right Time to Get Screened?
Cervical cancer screening is a great way to learn your potential for possible diagnoses. It may be hard to figure out when the right time is to get screened for cervical cancer. It is very important for women to know when and how to get screened for this gynecological cancer. Setting up a time for a consultation is the first step.
Cancer affects many people and doctors work tirelessly to detect cancers in patients as early as possible. All women should start cervical cancer screening at the age of 21 and have regular pap tests every three years. You shouldn’t be tested for HPV unless your test results come back abnormal.
Women ages 30 to 65 should have a pap test and HPV screening every five years. If you are at a higher risk of cervical cancer, you should be screened more often.
What is Cervical Cancer Screening?
During a pap smear, your doctor will look for any indication of cervical cancer and any other cancers or diseases. Cells from your cervix will be collected and tested for abnormal cells under a microscope. Early screening helps your doctor detect any early signs of cancer. An HPV vaccination may help prevent cervical cancer.
Many women do not have any signs or symptoms of a precancer. In the early stages of cervical cancer, symptoms are typically not present. In women that have advanced or metastatic cancers, they may experience more severe symptoms based on their tissues and organs.
Here are some symptoms:
- An increase of vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual activity
- Spotting or light bleeding between or following periods
- Longer and heavier menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding after douching, sex or pelvic exam
- Bleeding after menopause
- Unexplained pelvic or back pain
If you experience any of these symptoms they should be talked about to your doctor. Regular screenings will help keep you updated with your potential with cervical cancer.
Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center does Screening!
At Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center we do regular screenings and hpv tests. Our staff of gynecologic oncology services makes you feel as comfortable as possible during your screenings and procedures, and our doctors will answer every question you have. Contact us for your appointment today!