Annual Care

When it comes to insuring your wellness your annual care appointment is one to not be missed or taken lightly.

The Pap test has dramatically lowered cervical cancer deaths and is the most effective cancer screen to date. Additionally, the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against 70 to 80 percent of the potential cervical cancer cases.

“Precancerous lesions of the cervix rarely produce symptoms, are detectable only with screening, and are completely curable,” says Dr. Rebecca Thibodeau.

Risk factors for cervical cancer include HPV, smoking, lack of regular Pap tests and HIV infection.

Dr. Rachel Lee of Monarch Women’s Wellness offers the following steps women can take to prevent and detect cervical cancer:

  • Get annual gynecologic exams and Pap tests for early detection
  • Ask your gynecologist if you and/or your daughter(s) are candidates for HPV vaccination
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Learn your family history of cancer and alert your gynecologist

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, each year approximately 10,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,700 will die from the disease. Advancements in screening and treatment of cervical cancer have greatly reduced the number of incidence and mortality, but early detection and awareness is crucial to prevention.