Health & Safety

January 16, 2014

National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Major 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 changes in the guidelines for cervical cancer screening.

Many women will be glad to know they will no longer need a Pap smear every year. Pap smears now begin at age 21 and are recommended every three years. Women 30-and-older are eligible for screening every five years, if they have a negative Pap smear and Human Papilloma Virus test.

Recent research has determined almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. A routine DNA test can detect the high-risk strains of HPV in women 30-years-and older. 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 the Immunizations Clinic for women between ages the ages of 9 and 26. The vaccine is a series of three shots given over a period of six months.

A small population of women can discontinue getting Pap smears. Those who have had a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons and women over 65, with recent normal Pap smears, do not need the exam.

Despite the fact that many women may not need Pap smears as frequently, the WHC will not turn women away who have other gynecology-related questions or concerns. Patients using birth control must be seen on an annual basis to ensure they are still eligible to continue the method and renew their prescriptions.

The WHC manages women who have abnormal Pap smears, pre-cancerous cellular changes or “dysplasia” of the cervix, with their Abnormal Pap Program. These patients are monitored closely and receive 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 definitive treatment.

The WHC staff is available to answer questions about the new cervical cancer screening guidelines. Please call the central appointment line at 228-2778 to schedule an appointment.




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


 
 

 
Pharmacy_pict

TRICARE Pharmacy Rules Changing for Maintenance, Brand-name Drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense H...
 
 
U.S. Air Force Photo by 1st Lt. Jose R. Davis

Paving the way for Battlefield Airmen

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — *Editors note-The following is a commentary by a female who completed a Physical Fitness Tests and Standards study at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Airman was a volun...
 
 
ToothHealth_pict

Bite down on summer tooth health

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — As you may know, during the summer it can be extremely hot.  We want to stay cool and keep hydrated; however, sometimes we can harm our teeth in the process. For example, chewing on ice o...
 

 
SunSafety_pict

Sun safety now pays dividend later

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — Having fun in the sun is great while at the the beach, river, hiking and other outdoor activities, but too much exposure and not enough protection can lead to sunburn. Sun damage can lead ...
 
 
Motorcycle_pict

Keep motorcycle riding fun – keep it safe

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — Many motorcyclists dream of riding during the summer, but without the right training it can quickly turn into a nightmare. “The cause of most motorcycle injuries we see are caused by lac...
 
 

Ten surprising ways GPS improves your life

In the 20 years since the U.S. Air Force first developed the satellite-based Global Positioning System (better known as GPS), its use as a free public utility has skyrocketed. For most of us, “GPS” is that screen in our car or that app on our smartphone that helps calculate drive times, avoid traffic jams, locate...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>