In 2013, more than 12,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer. According to the CDC, cervical cancer is the most preventable cancer that affects women. Early detection is key — regular screenings, called Pap tests, can detect changes in your cervical cells and increase the chance that cervical cancer will be found early and treated successfully. Most cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease; HPV can be detected with an HPV screening.
Freeman physicians recommend the following:
- Cervical cancer screenings for women starting at age 21, as directed by your physician
- Regular HPV screenings for women starting at age 30
- HPV vaccine for females ages 13 - 26
Often, cervical cancer does not produce symptoms until it has developed into a later stage. Symptoms of later-stage cervical cancer can include:
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Unusual discharge
- Pain during intercourse
Other diseases can cause these symptoms as well. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call your physician today to make an appointment. If you would like help finding a medical provider, please call the Freeman Physician Finder at 417.347.3767 or 800.297.3337.