Why Regular Pap Smears Are so Important to Your Health

Pap smears, also known as Pap tests, help to identify suspicious cells in your cervix that could signal a precancerous condition.

Many women find this test to be uncomfortable or scary and try to avoid going to their gynecologist because of it, but the few minutes of discomfort are ultimately worth the health benefits. Let’s find out why regular Pap smears are so important to your health.

What Are Your Risks Factor for Cervical Cancer?

The main risk factor for developing cervical cancer is HPV or the Human Papillomavirus. This is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer, and you can contract it from any kind of sexual encounter.

Other risks include smoking, long term use of contraceptives, an active sexual life, and giving birth repeatedly.

Risks DO NOT include family history. Even if no one in your family has had cervical cancer before, you should still be screened.

Just because you have no symptoms does not mean you have no risk of cervical cancer. A screening test is done precisely to detect abnormal cells when there are no symptoms.

Don’t delay screening because you are afraid you may already have cervical cancer, and it’s too late to be treated. Regular screenings are often able to catch the suspicious cells early enough to treat and prevent the development of cervical cancer.

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Guidelines for Pap Smears in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, FL

The CDC instructs us to begin getting a Pap smear at age 21 and repeat them every 3 years until age 30. Between ages 30 and 65 we can safely repeat the test every 5 years as long as there are no abnormal results. After age 65, further Pap tests are needed only if your physician directly orders more tests or you have concerning symptoms.

Cervical cancer is preventable by regular Pap smears plus screening for HPV and treating any abnormal cervical cells early.

Benefits of Regular Pap Smears

Unfortunately, cervical cancer rates have been on the rise in the last several years. A recent study confirmed that there has been a 47% increase in cervical cancer among white women age 55 to 59, and a 72% increase among black women in the same age group.

Regular Pap smears can reduce these numbers. When you follow the guidelines for regular Pap tests and HPV screenings, the benefits are both physical and emotional.

First, you are reassured in knowing that you are doing all you can to prevent cervical cancer. In addition to this, you are being screened before any dangerous symptoms show up, and you also know you are catching any abnormal cells that could later develop into cancer.

There is less of a chance for the cancer to spread if it is caught and treated early on, and most important of all, you have a better overall chance of survival.

Contact Women’s Health Partners, LLC about your best screening schedule for cervical cancer, and make sure to attend your yearly gynecological examinations! You can request an appointment online, or contact or Boca Raton or Boynton office!

 

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Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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