Health & Safety

January 10, 2013

National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Maj. Shannen Wright
355th Medical Operations Squadron

January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month. The staff of D-M’s 355th Medical Group Women’s Health Clinic would like to highlight some of the new changes in the guidelines for cervical cancer screening. Pap smears now begin at age 21. Many women will be glad to know that they no longer need a pap smear every year. Recent research has determined that almost all cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus. We are now routinely using a DNA test to detect the high-risk strains of HPV in women 30 and older. If your pap smear is normal, you will not need another one for three years. If you are 30 or older and both pap smear and HPV tests are negative, you will only require screening every five years. Cervical cancer develops very slowly over time and in the absence of HPV, women are not at risk. A vaccine for HPV is now available at our immunizations clinic (series of three shots over six months), for ages 9-26.

A few populations of women can discontinue getting pap smears: those who have had a total hysterectomy (uterus and cervix removed) for non-cancerous reasons and women over 65 (with past history of normal pap smears). Despite the fact that many women may not need pap smears as frequently, we will not turn women away who have other gynecological-related questions/concerns. In fact, all beneficiaries are encouraged to see a WHC provider or their PCM for an annual “Well Woman” visit. Also, birth control prescriptions are good for one year only and patients must be seen on an annual basis to ensure they are still eligible to continue the method.

The WHC manages women who have abnormal pap smears (pre-cancerous cellular changes or “dysplasia” of the cervix) in our Abnormal Pap Program. We monitor these patients very closely and perform routine surveillance at frequent intervals. In the majority of cases, the abnormalities will resolve on their own; however some women are referred to a civilian gynecologist for consultation and/or definitive treatment of moderate-severe dysplasia and then subsequently return for their follow-up pap smears in the WHC.

The WHC staff is available to answer any questions you may have about the new cervical cancer screening guidelines. Call the central appointment line at 228-2778 to schedule your appointment.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

More than meets the eye

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — The word abuse often conjures images of bruises, swollen lips and harsh markings, but abuse is more than meets the eye. It can be much more than physical suffering and can have last...
 
 

Reminder to Airmen: Avoid hemp seed products

WASHINGTON D.C.  — Air Force drug testing officials have long warned military members to avoid products that include hemp seed or hemp oil in order to ensure military readiness. In 2013, news reports on the Air Force’s prohibition of a popular yogurt brand spotlighted a regulation, in effect since the late 1990s. Military members were told to...
 
 

AF’s updated policy further promotes tobacco-free environments

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force has led the military in advancing innovative tobacco control policies, such as the tobacco-free medical campus and prohibiting tobacco use outside “designated tobacco areas.” Now, an updated Air Force instruction, published in March, seeks to further reduce health impacts from smoking, the nation’s leading cause of death. “The Air Force is...
 

 

Preventing sexual assault in the Air Force is our enduring responsibility

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As we begin Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, clear signs point to the progress we have made in combating sexual assault. We can cite encouraging numbers in the areas of prevalence, reporting and convictions; however, this serves as only the beginning of an enduring effort. This effort must continue without pause and we...
 
 

Air Force stands up Task Force Cyber Secure

WASHINGTON, (AFNS) — Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III signed a memorandum on March 20, establishing Task Force Cyber Secure, to address challenges of the cyberspace domain in synchronization, operations and governance within the Air Force and with those organizations it supports. “This task force is fundamental to understanding...
 
 
(Courtesy photo)

Suicide prevention training goes face-to-face

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The World Health Organization reports that every year, more than 800,000 people die from suicide or roughly one death every 40 seconds. It’s a hard subject to speak on and some people don...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin