All women, especially those over the age of 30, are at risk for developing cervical cancer, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s also the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent. Regular screenings are the most effective way to find the disease early and treat it. Unfortunately, Idaho has the lowest rate for cervical screening in the United States. January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to learn more and get screened!
Who is most at risk?
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex. HPV is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives. For most women, HPV will go away on its own; however, if it does not, there is a chance that over time it may cause cervical cancer. Other factors increasing the risk of cervical cancer are not getting screened, being HIV positive, and smoking. Smoking doubles a woman’s risk of getting cervical cancer.
What are the most common symptoms?
There are typically no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. That’s why regular screening is so important. Continue reading