All women, especially those over the age of 30, are at risk for developing cervical cancer, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s also the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening. 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 – we are 50th in the nation. We can do better!
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?
It usually causes no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. That’s why regular screening is so important. Continue reading
As we near the end of October, I am issuing a challenge to the women of Idaho, who are notorious for not getting their mammograms: If you are over the age of 40, please talk to your healthcare provider about when you should start getting screened, and if you are over 50, just schedule it. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, so there is a good chance this disease will affect you or someone you love. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
Why is breast cancer screening important?
Getting a mammogram at the appropriate time in your life is important because the earlier cancer is found, the earlier you can get treatment for it. If breast cancer is discovered before it spreads, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent on the national level. But for late-stage cases, the five-year survival rate drops to 24 percent. That’s why early detection is important. Continue reading
Most of us probably spent the weekend honoring our mothers, and I’d like to talk today about the importance of women of all ages making sure they take time to take care of their health. Women often spend a great deal of time caring for others. By taking care of themselves, women can enjoy better health and set a good example for their families. Continue reading
All women, especially those over the age of 30, are at risk for developing cervical cancer, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s also the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening. Getting screened regularly for cervical cancer is important because that is the most effective way to find the disease early. It is highly treatable when it is found early enough. Unfortunately, Idaho has the lowest rate for cervical screening in the United States. Continue reading
There’s a good chance this disease will affect your life or the life of someone close to you because it is so common. Only skin cancer has higher rates. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Nationally, 246,660 women and more than 2,500 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and almost 40,500 women and 440 men will die from it. Here in Idaho, more than 1,000 breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2013 with almost 200 deaths (191 in 2014).
Let’s talk about risk. Is it possible for a person to reduce their risk?
Risk factors for breast cancer include being female, getting older, and becoming a mother later in life. Other factors include a family history of breast cancer, being overweight and not getting enough exercise. Even though you can’t control your genetic risk for the disease, you can take steps to stay healthy and help prevent it. Maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcoholic drinks, knowing your family history, and getting the recommended regular screenings all help reduce your risk. Continue reading