Planned Parenthood offers cervical health tips
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.
News 12 spoke with a doctor from Planned Parenthood about the steps residents should take to prevent and get an early diagnosis for cervical cancer. Dr. Stacy De-Lin says women should get pap smears routinely starting at age 21.
De-Lin also recommends the Gardasil vaccine, which can be given to patients ranging from 11 years old to 21 years old and helps prevent the human papillomavirus.
HPV is the virus that is responsible for cervical cancer, and doctors say the vaccine protects against two strains of the virus that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers.
Even though most HPV infections do not cause any symptoms and go away on their own, doctors say it is still important to get regular pap tests.