Happy New Year !
Cervical Health Awareness Month
The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. More than 14,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.
During January, NCCC (National Cervical Cancer Coalition) and its many local chapters across the country highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. While NCCC chapters host events throughout the year, January is a month with a special focus as chapters celebrate Cervical Health Awareness Month and work to spread the word in their communities.
You can lower your risk for cervical cancer by getting screened regularly, starting at age 21.
The HPV test and the Pap test are screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause cell changes on the cervix.
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
You should start getting Pap tests at age 21. If your Pap test result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.
If you’re 30 to 65 years old, you have three options. Talk to your doctor about which testing option is right for you.
- An HPV test only. If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.
- An HPV test along with the Pap test. If both of your results are normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.
- A Pap test only. If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.
If you’re older than 65, your doctor may tell you that you don’t need to be screened anymore if you have had normal screening test results for several years and you have not had a cervical precancer in the past, or you have had your cervix removed as part of a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous conditions, like fibroids
Moms Talk Vaccines
Moms are always taking care of their children’s needs and trying to keep them safe. One way to do that—protecting them from HPV-related cancer with an HPV vaccine.
The HPV Vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical cancers. HPV can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women.
- HPV vaccination is recommended for preteens aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given starting at age 9.
- HPV vaccine also is recommended for everyone through age 26 years, if they are not vaccinated already.
- HPV vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults age 27 through 45 years who are not already vaccinated may decide to get the HPV vaccine after speaking with their doctor about their risk for new HPV infections and the possible benefits of vaccination. HPV vaccination in this age range provides less benefit, as more people have already been exposed to HPV.
HPV vaccination prevents new HPV infections, but does not treat existing infections or diseases. This is why the HPV vaccine works best when given before any exposure to HPV. You should get screened for cervical cancer regularly, even if you received an HPV vaccine.
Thyroid Awareness Month – January 2024
The thyroid is a small gland responsible for producing hormones that play a crucial role in many of the body’s systems — from cells and tissues, to organs like the heart, brain, liver, and kidneys. Dysfunction occurs when the thyroid produces either too much or too little thyroid hormone. Either can disrupt healthy functioning of vital organs — leading to a wide range of symptoms. The good news? Once diagnosed and treated, it’s entirely possible to live a normal, healthy life.
5 Reasons to check your Thyroid
1. It’s a small gland with a major impact
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at base of the neck that produces thyroid hormones; these influence how all other cells, tissues, and organs function.
2. Thyroid dysfunction can have hundreds of possible symptoms
Symptoms vary widely and diagnosis can be difficult, so keeping detailed records will be a significant help to your doctor.
3. It affects millions in the U.S. alone
It’s estimated that over 30 million Americans have thyroid dysfunction, yet at least half of these cases are undiagnosed and, consequently, untreated.
4. Anyone can be affected by thyroid dysfunction
Although women are five times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men, it can happen to anyone.
5. Diagnosis is the key
Good news: With a proper diagnosis, thyroid dysfunction can be successfully treated so you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
As always, Empowered Healing leads to Empowered Health, resulting in an Empowered YOU!