Martha Jefferson HealthWise--January 9th

This year it is expected that 11,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Dr. Gwen Kelly, a Gynecologist with Martha Jefferson, explains that a PAP test is the first line of defense in preventing cervical cancer. This is the single most effective screening in all of medicine. All adult women should receive this test, but not everyone is doing it. Women who are susceptible to the following risk factors should be most inclined to be checked regularly. The biggest risk factor is the HPV virus,which is the leading cause for cervical cancer. This is a sexually transmitted disease and can be prevented through abstinence or treatment.

There has been a major development in the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. It is being hailed by both the medical and political fields as one of the biggest break-throughs in preventing cervical cancer. Other than abstinence before marriage, the vaccine is one of the most succussful ways of preventing a cervical cancer diagnosis.

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