Screenings for Women

Screening for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer screening is essential to women's health. About 13,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. When cervical cancer is detected early, before it has had a chance to spread throughout the body, the odds of complete remission are much higher. The sooner cervical cancer treatment begins, the more effective it can be.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

Cervical cancer often presents no symptoms in early stages. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the pelvis, potentially growing more intense during sexual intercourse
  • Abnormal menstruation, which may be irregular, lighter or heavier than usual
  • Discharge or bleeding from the vagina
  • Fatigue, nausea or sudden weight loss

Symptoms can get drastically worse in a short time, especially if cancer is spreading. Unfortunately, it is easy to mistake many cervical cancer symptoms for other conditions. If you experience any symptoms, you should make an appointment to see a doctor here at Swedes.

Screenings Save Lives

Every year, women should take special care to schedule a wellness exam. If you experience symptoms, arrange to see a doctor for a separate screening. You should know this about getting a cervical cancer screening:

  • All women should get regular cervical cancer screenings from age 21 through age 65.
  • A pap test looks for pre-cancers in the cervix that can be removed before they develop.
  • An HPV test looks for a virus that can cause pre-cancers to emerge in a woman’s body.
  • Both tests can be performed at the same time, with HPV tests usually starting after 30.
  • Although the tests are completed in a short time, it can take three weeks to get results.

Cancer screenings are critical for all women. If you can’t afford a screening, Illinois’ IBCCP program may be able to help.

To learn more about cervical cancer treatment, contact us today.