New Guidelines for Taking Care of Your Cervical Health
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.
Dr. Nicholas Klein, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Nyack Hospital,
shares what women need to know about new cervical health guidelines.l
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. If often can be found early, and in somecases can even be prevented entirely, through Pap tests. New guidelines issued by several medical groups have changed the recommendations about how often women should receive this important screening test. Since January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, now is a good time to determinewhether you should schedule a gynecological exam and Pap test for the coming year. Until recently, women were advised to have annual Pap tests. In 2012, several medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists came out with new guidelines that recommend that most women be screened for cervical cancer no more than once every three to five years. A Pap test can detect abnormal cell changes that occur in the cervix
years before cervical cancer develops.
The guidelines also recommend women receive a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) along with the Pap test for women ages 30 and older, every five years. There are many types of HPV, some of which can cause cervical cancer.
Among the new recommendations: