FORT HOOD, Texas – Make wellness your 2020 resolution by scheduling preventative health and wellness exams like hearing and vision tests and various cancer screenings.

The exams give a more specific look at a person’s health status and can better identify immediate threats to their well-being or elevated risks for chronic diseases.

Throughout the year, Army Medicine highlights specific diseases and health conditions. January kicks off with Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

More than 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, according to the Center for Disease control and Prevention (CDCP). It also is preventable with two screening tests: Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV).

According to the CDC, the Pap test looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. HPV vaccines can protect women against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to get screening tests regularly starting at age 21.

The CDC also stresses that HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer and recommends the HPV vaccination for children between the ages of 11 to 12 to help prevent cervical and other kinds of cancer.

If you are 30 years old or older, you have three options: you can get a Pap test only, an HPV test only, or both an HPV and a Pap test together. If your test results are normal, you can wait three years to be tested again if you had a Pap test only, or five years to be tested again if you had an HPV test only or both an HPV test and a Pap test together.

Early cervical cancer may not cause symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge. Left alone, abnormal cells may eventually progress to cancer. The good news is the cells are slow growing, so it can take a decade or longer for this to happen, according to the CDC.

Cervical cancer is highly curable when found and treated early. Be proactive about your health care. Make your appointment today.




For more information contact Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office

POC: Mikaela Cade, (254) 288-8005; mika[email protected] Email

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