By Parveen Vahora, M.D.
Even if you don’t need a pap smear, you should absolutely still schedule your gynecological wellness exam every year to evaluate for disease and disorders, including cervical cancer.
The most important thing that women can do to prevent cervical cancer is to have regular cervical cancer screenings. These are given during a Pap test or wellness exam, which should be at least every year, or if you are at high risk or have had HPV, cancer, precancer, or other genital disorders, your routine visits should be several times per year. There are preventative tests that Dr. Vahora includes in her regular cervical cancer screening called, Papanicolaou (Pap) test, which checks for HPV specifically.
Most insurance covers a pap smear as part of your yearly wellness examination once a year. It’s best to see your gynecologist or woman health care provider yearly for your wellness, and they can decide with your history whether you need a pap smear or not. Do not put off your annual gynecological exam.
When routine examinations are done regularly, pre-cervical cancer can be detected relatively easily. A minimally-invasive in-office procedure can remove the precancerous lesions without much discomfort or complications.
Cervical cancer is a fast-growing disease that can lead to death if not caught in its pre-stages. Years ago, cervical cancer was a leading cause of death in women, but because of educating and follow through with routine gynecological visits, those statistics have changed. Depending on the stage of the cancer, many women will undergo a hysterectomy and chemotherapy.
The HPV vaccine is highly recommended for teen girls to prevent the HPV virus that causes cervical and genital cancers.
HPV Facts & Treatment
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most significant risk factor for developing cervical cancer. HPV is made up of 150 viruses and can infect the cells of the cervix and spreads through sexual encounters, as well as be passed down through childbirth. Other risk factors that exacerbate or lead to cervical cancer are a weakened immune system, smoking, chronic infections, having a child in your teenage years, and having multiple full-term pregnancies.
There are little to no signs or symptoms of cervical cancer and other genital cancers, so the most proactive way to prevent these cancers from growing is to have regular pap smears on a routine basis. The test results will show positive signs of cancer or precancerous lesions. In the gynecologist’s office, they can do a simple test to see where the cervical cancer is and can evaluate its severity. Usually, if caught early enough, the cancerous lesions can be removed right in the comfort of the office.
The office of Dr. Parveen Vahora is small, intimate, and welcoming. Women under Dr. Vahora’s care are treated with the utmost respect, which means she offers personalized care: educating on conditions and treatment options as well as preventative measures. The focus is on sexual health—offering MonaLisa Touch® for patients going through menopause as well as post-menopausal women, breast cancer survivors, and those suffering from pain during intercourse or intense dryness. Dr. Vahora also offers genetic testing for breast, ovarian, and colon cancer. From birth control to robotic surgery, Dr. Vahora and Connie have got you covered.
They follow Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) protocols, which take a comprehensive look at all areas of the patient’s journey through surgery and recovery, creating a well¬-coordinated, team¬-oriented approach to surgical care for better outcomes. Weaving this into personalized care plans, Dr. Vahora get patients back to their normal routines faster.
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