I'll be honest — I've got a lot of cancer running in my family tree. Now, they are all different kinds of cancer, but cancer nonetheless. That is why I try to keep on the newest and greatest research and vaccines that are out there for both me and my kids. The HPV vaccines that are out right now are for girls/women ages 9 – 26 and help protect against the two types of HPV that are most commonly associated with cervical cancer. Now, this helps for the next generation of women. But what about us who don't fall into this age bracket?
Have no fear. This is something we can do if you are over thirty (which I am!). Here's how to protect yourself from cervical cancer:
1. Get A Pap Smear. You should start getting these at 21. The doctor takes a swab of cells and then checks them cell changes or abnormalities.
2 (aff). The HPV Test. This is actually done with the pap smear sample! It identifies women with high risk HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer. If you are over the age of 30, make sure you are asking for the digene HPV Test together with your Pap Smear.
If anything comes back abnormal, don't freak! Many times your doctor will repeat the testing to make sure that nothing abnormal is going on. It'll let your doctor know to keep a closer eye on you and your health.