Cervical Cancer Risk Increasing in Young Women
Cervical Cancer Symptoms in Fort Collins, CO
Am I at Risk for Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is certainly not the most common cancer in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to know your risk factors. When you know your risk level, you can schedule screenings and tests as necessary. And with frequent testing comes the likelihood that we’ll catch the condition early and provide effective cervical cancer treatment. The team at The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado is here to help you determine your risk level and address cervical cancer symptoms. As rates of cervical cancer increase in young women, it’s more important than ever to get preventative medical care. Make an appointment at our clinics in Loveland and Fort Collins, CO for a screening.
Cervical Cancer Is Becoming More Common in Young Women
Studies in the United Kingdom have shown an increasing rate of cervical cancer in young women. In 2016, natural statistics saw a spike in diagnoses in women between the ages of 20 and 24. Cervical cancer rates between the ages of 25-29 have also been steadily increasing over the past decade. While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s causing this uptick, researchers suggest that it may be the result of a lack of prevention measures. As more women decide to forego regular screenings and don’t receive the HPV vaccine, rates of cervical cancer are at risk of further increasing.
Identify the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
If you’re concerned about developing cervical cancer, we encourage you to learn more about the signs and symptoms of the condition. When you know what warning signs to look for, you can more easily catch the disease in its early stages. If you notice any of the following symptoms of cervical cancer, get in touch with your women’s health provider as soon as possible:
- Spotting between periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse
- Persistent back pain
How You Can Minimize Your Risk
While many risk factors for cervical cancer can’t be changed, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your risk. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, could help reduce your chances, but we recommend taking the following precautions as well:
- Pap Smear: Women over the age of 21 should schedule regular Pap smears to look for precancerous cells. Unless you receive an abnormal Pap smear result, you can usually wait about three years between tests.
- HPV Testing: HPV is widespread in the United States. Because an HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer, it’s vital to complete regular HPV testing as recommended by your provider.
- HPV Vaccination: Preteen girls should receive an HPV vaccine to avoid infection in the first place. If you’re in your twenties or thirties and have not received the vaccine, talk to your doctor about your vaccination options.
Work to Spread Awareness
Now that you’re aware of cervical cancer symptoms, you might choose to take steps to make a difference in your community. At The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado, we’re all about spreading awareness about cervical cancer and other conditions affecting women. While we can encourage screenings and vaccinations, we can’t spread the word alone. We hope you’ll get involved with cervical cancer awareness by taking the following steps:
- Sharing your testing/vaccination experience on social media
- Donate to a local fundraiser (or start your own!)
- Pass out flyers
- Start screening initiatives at work
- Encourage friends and family to get screened regularly
Contact The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado
The signs of cervical cancer don’t begin showing until the disease is already in advanced stages. To maximize your chances of effective treatment, we hope you’ll schedule a screening. Our compassionate team will let you know whether you’re at high risk for cervical cancer and how often you should return for testing. No matter how your test results come back, our team will be with you every step of the way, providing medical care and friendly support. Contact us today.