Cervical Cancer needs to be a topic of discussion for every woman. Why? “Every year, more than 80,000 women in the United States are told they have a gynecologic cancer, and more than 25,000 women will die from it.” That’s frightening, but true. Pay attention to your body and know what signs to look out for.
Some major symptoms you should be aware of include:
- Bleeding during and after menopause
- Irregular menses
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain during intercourse
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to make an appointment you’re your doctor sooner rather than later. Remember that most gynecologic cancers don’t exhibit symptoms early, so time is of the essence.
In addition to making an in-person appointment, know that you can even begin with a virtual/telemedicine app to get the ball rolling for further testing and discussion. What tests should you expect? The most common is a Pap and HPV test, however there are others that you doctor may order that fit your symptom/situation. But, generally a Pap test will be ordered where cells from your cervix are extracted and then examined in a lab. Pap tests detect abnormal cells, including cancer cells, and show any other changes that may be going on that would increase your risk of cervical cancer. Another common test is an HPV DNA test. This test checks cervix cells for signs of infection associated with the types of HPV that can lead to cancer.
Be sure to share your family history with your doctor as up to 10% of all cancers are considered hereditary, thus increasing your risk. You can also request genetic testing to see if you carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. These mutations place you in a higher risk category.
Again, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or just have some concerns or questions that you want to discuss, click or call to make a virtual appointment now!