Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital wants to help women become more aware of their health and give them the tools needed to succeed.
Nearly 12,000 women in the United States learn they have cervical cancer each year. But cervical cancer is preventable and you can help protect yourself, or your daughter, from developing this serious form of cancer.
The Link Between HPV and Cervical Cancer
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus. Cancer of the cervix occurs when cells begin to grow abnormally, dividing at a faster than normal rate. “Most cases of cervical cancer are found in women younger than age 50, but the disease rarely occurs in those younger than age 20,” says Stephanie Smith-Sham, MD, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Cy-Fair Hospital.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cases of cervical cancer. Both men and women can unknowingly have HPV and pass it to another person. “You can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by preventing HPV infection and having routine Pap tests,” suggests Dr. Smith-Sham.
“The Pap test or Pap smear checks for changes in the cells of the cervix. Samples of the cells from inside and outside of the cervix are taken during a pelvic exam by your doctor or nurse,” explains Dr. Smith-Sham. “This test should be done regularly as suggested by your doctor to help you and your health care provider stay proactive in addressing any health concerns that may develop, such as cervical cancer.”
A vaccine has been developed to prevent spread of the HPV virus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for females through age 26. The vaccine must be given in three doses over a six-month period.
The Importance of Prevention
Despite increased screening, the American Cancer Society still estimates over 4,000 women will die from cervical cancer this year. “You can help your daughter take action to prevent cervical cancer through vaccination or to receive treatment if it is detected early through regular screening,” adds Dr. Smith-Sham. “Cervical cancer is a difficult condition to live through, but resources and services are available to help you better understand the risk factors and options for prevention.”
Talk to the Doctor about Your Concerns
Want to know more about HPV and cervical cancer? Or interested in learning about the importance of regular screening to help foster good health habits in your daughter at an early age? Join Cy-Fair Hospital for a mother and daughter seminar on Saturday, June 26 at 9 a.m. in the Professional Building I Classrooms (11302 Fallbrook Drive). The seminar will include an open discussion designed to help learn what you need to know to protect your daughter from cervical cancer.
Call 800-681-2733 to register for this informative seminar. Complimentary breakfast and refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, so call to reserve your spot today.