Having a healthy cervix should be a part of every woman’s agenda as it can help to prevent issues like cervical cancer, infection with Human papillomavirus (HPV), etc. The tips shared below would help you ensure that your cervix is healthy and is free of infections and problems. The tests and vaccines that are explained below are offered free or for very small charges in a free women’s clinic. You can contact Complete Care Community Health Center to learn more about these tests.

Pap Smear Test

Many women in America do not fully understand the importance of having Pap smear tests. Having a regular Pap smear test is important in preventing cervical cancer and related issues. The test is not a diagnostic one, but a screening test, which is conducted to ensure that there are no abnormal changes in the cervix of the person undergoing the test.

Pap smear tests look for changes in the cervix that may lead to cervical cancer. Note that it will take years for cervical cancer to develop and show symptoms. So having Pap smear tests at regular intervals will help you detect changes in the cervix before it develops into cancer.

HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine can protect you against the commonly found strains of the Human papillomavirus, which is notorious for causing cervical cancer in women. Studies show that those women who are infected with the high-risk strains of the HPV virus develop cervical dysplasia. When cervical dysplasia is not diagnosed at the right time, it may develop into cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine is FDA approved for women in the age group 9 to 26, and the target age of getting vaccinated is between 11 to 12 years of age.

Follow the Recommendations of the Doctor

It will be surprising for you to know that many women do not follow the recommendations of their doctors and physicians. However, you need to ensure that you visit the free women’s clinic for follow up Pap smears, colposcopy exams, and treatments as recommended by your doctor.

Misunderstanding of the doctor’s recommendations and lack of insurance are common reasons for women not showing up for follow-ups. However, you should keep in mind that you have to be proactive in your own healthcare routine to keep your cervix healthy and to prevent cervical cancer. Make sure that you understand the recommendations of the doctor and show up for the follow-up treatments.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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