What You Should Know About Cervical Cancer - Cervical Cancer Awareness & HPV Vaccine
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!
This month is dedicated to raising awareness of cervical cancer and to fundraise for research, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and cure. Prevention is key when speaking about awareness. Clinton County Medical Center offers a wide variety of services to aid in women’s health. We have a staff dedicated to your education in an effort to prevent serious diseases and illnesses together. This is a team effort between your providers and you, the patient. Read carefully as most of this information could pertain to you and your family.
Did you know?
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) in the United States. Only some are born with a cervix, but HPV can cause a variety of cancers – cervical, anal, and oral – and genital warts among other illnesses, in all people [1,6].
HPV is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact, including sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or any other contact involving the genital area (eg, hand-to-genital contact). It is not possible to become infected with HPV by touching an object, such as a toilet seat. Most people who are infected with HPV have no signs or symptoms. At least 80 percent of women are exposed to the HPV virus during their lifetime. Most of the time, the body’s immune system gets rid of the virus before it does harm [1, 6].
Each year, more than 12,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 4,000 will die even with treatment .
Cervical cancer can be detected with routine screening. The Papanicolaou or “pap” test, sometimes called a “Pap smear” is used to detect abnormal, pre- cancerous cervical cells. If it is determined that abnormal cells are present, your physician will follow-up with you regarding further testing. Reflex HPV Testing with Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Origin (ASCUS), or “co-testing”, is an HPV DNA test that can detect some of the most common HPV types on a woman’s cervix [3, 4]. Clinton County Medical Center recommends that women 21+ have one pap smear per year. This is a test performed during your annual wellness exam and is covered by most insurances.
If your test results are positive, don’t panic! Your doctor will likely do another test to confirm that the results are correct and determine the treatment based on the stage that the cancer is in. When detected early, treatment is more effective and there are more treatment options available .
For example, Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) is a common and effective treatment that prevents cervical cancer. A small electrical wire loop is used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix .
Before HPV vaccines were introduced, roughly 340,000 to 360,000 women and men were affected by genital warts caused by HPV every year .
HPV Vaccination is Cervical Cancer Prevention.
The HPV vaccine offers the best protection when administered early. It is recommended girls and boys 11-12 years of age . We can administer the HPV vaccine right here in our office with an appointment.
Who is eligible for the vaccine?
In October 2018, the HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) has just been approved for men and women up to age 45 . Check with your insurance company to see if this vaccination is covered for you. The billing code that your insurance company will ask for is 90651. Calling them is the best way to find out if it is covered since everyone has different insurances companies and policies. We cannot guarantee what your company and policy will cover or not. The number you will need to call is located on the back of your insurance card. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our billing department. (989) 224-3000 extension 558.
Talk to your doctor about HPV Prevention!
Although HPV is the most commonly contracted STI, we can do our part to spread awareness and get vaccinated. It was estimated in 2013 that increasing HPV vaccination to 80% could prevent an additional 53,000 future cervical cancer cases among girls who are now 12 years old or younger over the course of their lifetimes . Call us today to set up an appointment and talk to your provider. Prevention is KEY. (989) 224-3000.
- “HPV | What Is HPV | Human Papillomavirus | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/
- “Key Statistics for Cervical Cancer.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/
- “Cervical Cancer Screening with the HPV Test and the Pap …” CDC,www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/
- UpToDate, 27 Nov. 2018, www.uptodate.com/contents/
- “Treatment Options for Cervical Cancer, by Stage.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/
- “Human Papillomavirus (HPV).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Nov. 2017,www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-
- Villa, Luisa L, et al. “Prophylactic Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 Virus-like Particle Vaccine in Young Women: a Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Multicentre Phase II Efficacy Trial.” The Lancet Oncology, vol. 6, no. 5, 2005, pp. 271–278., doi:10.1016/s1470-2045(05)
- “HPV Vaccines.” American Cancer Society,www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-
- “Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer: Home.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/