Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in a woman’s cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that opens at the top of the vagina. Cervical cancer grows slowly and frequently presents no symptoms. This type of cancer is usually the result of infection of the Human Papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV.
According to the National Cancer Institute, doctors diagnose about 12,360 new cases of cervical cancer each year. Cervical cancer causes about 4,020 deaths annually. Fortunately, cervical cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with regular screenings and follow-ups.
Dr. Edwards offers the two most important screening tests to help prevent cervical cancer or identify it early – the Pap smear and HPV test. The Pap smear, sometimes called a Pap test, looks for pre-cancerous cells that might turn into cancer cells. The HPV test looks for the virus that causes cells to change into pre-cancerous cells.
Dr. Edwards recommends regular Pap tests starting at age 21 and continuing to at least the age of 65, even if the woman does not have sex anymore. Women over the age of 30 may opt to have a Pap smear and HPV at the same time, a procedure known as co-testing. If Pap tests suggest abnormal changes in cervical cells, Dr. J. David Edwards may suggest early treatment.
In addition, Dr. Edwards provides Colposcopy, Cryotherapy, and Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) services.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!