Healthy Focus — August 2022

Star in Your own Screen Test

Are you ready to take the leading role in your own healthcare? Get started today and Star in Your Own Screen Test to achieve award-winning health. Create a script for your own healthy life story by scheduling regular check-ups, preventive screenings, and immunizations. Co-star with your doctor to ensure you get a standing ovation for your health by raising any questions or concerns you may have. Your life depends on it.

Routine care and health assessments can help lower our health risks, including ones that may be hereditary. Mammograms, blood pressure, colon, and pap tests allow for early detection and the possibility for more treatment options. You may need certain screen tests earlier, or more often than others, depending on your personal risk factors.

What You Need & When You Need It

 

Protect yourself and your family by setting an example and scheduling an appointment TODAY. Don’t improvise. Remind friends and family that prevention is the key to a healthy life. Keep track of your screenings by using the chart below:       

Talk to your healthcare provider about timing for your COVID-19 vaccine.

FREE Screenings at HCMC on September 28
Don’t miss HCMC’s Chronic Disease Management Screening on September 28 from 7:00a.m.-11:00a.m. in HCMC Classrooms 2&3. All patients must be fasting for 8 hours to participate in the screening. Appointments are necessary and masks are required.

For more information, visit our website. To make an appointment, or to join our Chronic Disease Management program, call 731-644-8215 or email tumstead@hcmc-tn.org.  

 

The Cancer You Can Help Prevent: Cervical Cancer and HPV

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then the scales are definitely tipping against cervical cancer.

Primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer strikes approximately 12,000 women annually and kills as many as 4,000 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While those numbers are sobering, the good news is that new research and vaccines are making it possible to ward off HPV, drastically lessening the chance of developing cervical cancer.

A Shot at Success

One reason for optimism is the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in people who are 9 to 45 years old.

According to the CDC, HPV infections and cervical precancers (abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer) have dropped since 2006, when HPV vaccines were first used in the United States.

  • Among teen girls, infections with HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped 88%.
  • Among young adult women, infections with HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped 81 percent.
  • Among vaccinated women, the percentage of cervical precancers caused by the HPV types most often linked to cervical cancer has dropped by 40%.

HPV Vaccination Timeline

Children ages 11–12 years should get two doses of HPV vaccine, given 6 to 12 months apart. HPV vaccines can be given starting at age 9 years.

Children who start the HPV vaccine series on or after their 15th birthday need three doses, given over 6 months.If your teen isn’t vaccinated yet, talk to their doctor about doing so as soon as possible.

If you’re a woman between the ages of 27 to 45, discuss with your doctor whether he or she recommends that you get the HPV vaccine. The vaccine may help lower the number of women who contract HPV; even those who do contract the virus—which can exist without symptoms for years—will not necessarily be stricken with cervical cancer.

This vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if the vaccine is given before girls or women are exposed to the virus. This vaccine can also prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer. In addition, the vaccine can prevent genital warts, anal cancers, and mouth, throat, head and neck cancers in women and men. HPV can affect males too—with potentially serious consequences later in life, like certain HPV-related cancers, including certain head and neck cancers.

Early Detection

Because HPV can be asymptomatic, screening is essential for early detection and treatment. Many laboratories now include screening for HPV as part of the routine Pap smear. If you’re not sure whether your healthcare provider routinely requests HPV tests as part of your annual exam, ask for them, particularly if you are sexually active or were sexually active as a young adult. Unlike sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, HPV can have a period of latency.

And be sure to continue scheduling regular Pap smears even if you have been vaccinated for HPV, since the vaccine does not prevent all cases of cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines        

Here’s a quick summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines for cervical cancer screening.

  • Women age 21 to 29 should have a Pap test alone every 3 years. HPV testing alone can be considered for women who are 25 to 29, but Pap tests are preferred.
  • Women age 30 to 65 have three options for testing. They can have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years. They can have a Pap test alone every 3 years. Or they can have HPV testing alone every 5 years.
  • After age 65, you can stop having cervical cancer screenings if you have never had abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer, and you’ve had two or three negative screening tests in a row, depending on the type of test.

For more information about HPV screening and learning your risk for cervical cancer, visit Paris Women’s Center or call 731-644-8225.