The incidence and death rates from cervical cancer in the United States
have dropped almost 50% since the widespread use of PAP smears began in
the early 1970’s. However, cervical cancer still remains the third
most common gynecologic cancer in the USA.
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) recently released new recommendations for cervical cancer screening
that are based in part on newly available human papilloma (HPV) tests
as well as a better appreciation for the evolution of cervical cancer.
HPV is the virus known to cause 99% of cervical cancers. Should your PAP
smear be abnormal, then further testing, called Colposcopy which is a
magnified view of the cervix, will be usually be needed.
Regardless of the frequency of cervical cancer screening, annual breast
& pelvic exams are recommended. While we try to remind you each year
of the anniversary of your upcoming well women exam, please check your
calendar or give us a call to see if we might have missed you.