What You Should Know About Cervical Cancer: A Candid Consult with Dr. McDonald

January is National Cervical Cancer Month and we’ve interviewed Dr. Jeanette McDonald of OB/GYN of Indiana to share her thoughts about causes, prevention and screening options for woman today.

How prominent is cervical cancer today and what is the primary cause of it?

Cervical cancer usually does not show symptoms until later stages and affects over 13,500 women in the United States each year. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer and is transmitted via sexual contact. The good news is that it can be prevented.

What cervical screening is available to help me ensure my health?

Cervical cancer is highly preventable and treatable with the help of regular screening tests and follow-up.  It is important to have a well-woman exam yearly to review your history and how often you should have a pap done.  In general, women age 21-29 should have a pap every 3 years.  Women age 30-65 may also have HPV testing done in addition to a pap every 5 years.

What else can be done for its prevention?

Current guidelines recommend all girls and boys receive HPV vaccination at age 11-12, but it can be given up to age 26. Some women over age 26 may also be candidates for the HPV vaccine up to age 45.

When should I contact my provider?

In addition to regular screening, please contact your provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Scheduling your annual exam will ensure you complete the screening you need.

Dr. Jeanette McDonald Obstetrics and Gynecology of Indiana - Axia Women's HealthAuthor: Jeanette McDonald, MD, physician with OB/GYN of Indiana – Indianapolis South

To schedule a consult with Dr. McDonald or one of her teammates at the Indianapolis South location, schedule online or call (317) 859-2535




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