Middle Tennessee Medical Center is urging the women folk to get tested for cervical cancer. January is dedicated as the Cervical Cancer Screening Month and regular screening is the best way to combat this dreaded disease.
There are basically two tests that determine if the person has cervical cancer or not- the Pap test and the HPV test. The Pap test or Pap smear is directed towards preventing cervical cancer. It looks for precancerous cells that might become cervical cancer if left untreated. Dr. Kelly Williams, a MTMC physician states that it is recommended (by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) that woman undertake an annual examination beginning at age 21.
Pap test is the main test for cervical cancer but another test called the HVP test proves to be helpful at times. HPV or Human Papilloma Virus test looks for the said virus and this test can also be used to find the presence of the virus which causes cellular changes. HPV test is generally used to screen women who are in the age group 30 and above. But it is also used to detect the presence of virus in women who have unclear Pap test results.
There is a vaccine called HPV vaccine that is a big positive leap for medical science since it provides immunity against the virus. This vaccine is recommended for women from the age 9 to 26. Dr. Kelly Williams stresses that the HPV vaccine is a major advancement for preventing cervical cancer worldwide.
Cervical cancer awareness is a positive endeavor by the MTMC since many women fall prey to this ailment. As per an estimate by the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 women would be diagnosed and 4,210 women would die of it in 2010 alone.