January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and here at Associates in Women’s Health of the Mahoning Valley in Youngstown, Ohio, we are encouraging women to be more attentive to their cervical health. More than 14,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening. 
It encourages women to take care of their cervical health
It creates awareness about and motivates women to take care of their cervical health. Women get more familiar with the benefits of lifestyle changes and the importance of those fruits and vegetables that are rich in folate and vitamin A to prevent cervical cancer.
It creates awareness about H.P.V.
This month is equally important for males and females. The Human Papillomavirus is an infection that can occur in both men and women. And this month is also used to create awareness about H.P.V. and its treatment. Since there is no cure for the H.P.V. virus, people are informed about the vaccines for H.P.V. and effective treatments to assuage the effect in carriers.
Cervix screenings are conducted for young girls
Females are encouraged to get a pap smear even if they are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of cervical cancer. Moreover, special programs are conducted for high school students to highlight the importance of H.P.V. vaccines. The entire purpose and procedure of a Pap smear are also explained in detail. 
Types of Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
Two screening tests can help find changes that could become precancer or cervical cancer—
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
- The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes. 
Both tests can be completed at Dr. Hill’s office in Youngstown, Ohio. Book online for a weekday appointment or to inquire about our Saturday hours for cervical cancer screening tests.
Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer
- Having a weakened immune system: This can lower the body’s ability to fight HPV infection and other diseases. HPV infections are more likely to be persistent and progress to cancer in people who are immunocompromised than in people who are not immunocompromised. You may be immunocompromised if you:
- Have HIV infection or another disease that weakens the immune system.
- Take medicine to suppress your immune response, such as to prevent organ rejection after a transplant, to treat an autoimmune disease, or to treat cancer.
- Smoking or breathing in secondhand smoke: Those who either smoke or breathe in secondhand smoke have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer. The risk increases the more a person smokes per day and the longer a person has smoked.
- Becoming sexually active at an early age: The risk of high-risk HPV infection that is persistent and ultimately leads to cervical cancer is higher in people who become sexually active before age 18 and in those who have had multiple sexual partners. This sexual history increases the chances of exposure to high-risk HPV. 
If you are concerned that you may be at risk for cervical cancer, book an appointment with Dr. Hill in Youngstown, Ohio. He is conveniently open on weekends for those with busy schedules during the week.
Steps to Help Prevent Cervical Cancer
- If you’re 26 or younger, get an HPV Vaccine if you haven’t been vaccinated already
- Don’t smoke
- Use condoms during sex – condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer 
Dr. Hill can provide you with the necessary information and testing to make your cervical health a priority. Book your appointment online today or use our Ask The Doctor form on our website if you have specific questions about cervical cancer.
- Cervical Health Awareness Month
- Cervical Health Awareness Month – January 2023
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