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Small Steps to Prevent Cervical Cancer

In honor of Cervical Health Awareness Month, the Alexandria Clinic OB/GYN Team wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity and is the leading cause of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV don’t know they are infected. (According to Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)

The good news? “Prevention and early detection are key.” – Demetra Heinrich, OB/GYN, M.D. at Alexandria Clinic.

  • The HPV vaccine can help prevent HPV.

“HPV vaccine should be strongly endorsed and encouraged as part of routine vaccinations at age 11-12 years old in both girls and boys for preventative care. HPV vaccination has been very successful in decreasing the prevalence of cervical cancer.” – Dr. Demetra Heinrich

  • Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.

“It is also very important to have the appropriate screenings done.  Starting at the age of 21, all females should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap smear and have this screening completed every 3 years, if normal. (Decreasing to every 5 years at the age of 30 years old) If your Pap smear is abnormal, it is imperative to follow up as recommended and often to prevent the progression of cervical cancer.” – Dr. Demetra HeinrichTaking small steps can help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Schedule your child’s preventative vaccination or your regular screening through MyChart.