For years a pap smear, or pap test, has been synonymous with an annual well woman visit to your ob/gyn clinic. A recent study points to what may be the new standard in women’s healthcare: the human papilloma virus (HPV) screening test. If you are over 30, your ob/gyn will likely recommend HPV screening that checks for cervical cancer at the DNA level.
Health Central Women’s Care Dr. Jay Staub was featured on Dallas WFAA Channel 8 in a news story about the HPV test. Watch as Dr. Staub explains why Health Central Women’s Care has offered advanced HPV testing for more than seven years.
Unlike the pap smear process, which collects a sample from the cervix and checks for changes in cellular structure that could be pre-cancerous, the HPV test examines a cell sample to reveal the presence of the Human Papilloma virus’ DNA.
The HPV test is more thorough than the pap smear and ob/gyns believe it better protects women because early detection is key to surviving cervical cancer.
What is HPV?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention name human papillomavirus virus (HPV) as the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. There are more than 100 strains of HPV, most of which are benign and disappear without causing health problems. Of the strains, 40 can be transmitted through sexual contact.
A papilloma is a wart. Most HPV warts are benign.
A few strains, however, can lead to cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer.
- About 80% of women by age 50 will test positive for the HPV virus. –(National Cervical Cancer Coalition)
- 50% of all sexually active people will have genital HPV in their lifetime. (CDC)
Work HPV Screening into a Well Woman Visit
Think of HPV as the common cold for the sexually active person. Most will be exposed and will not exhibit symptoms; some will contract a strain that could lead to serious health problems. Preventive healthcare can protect you from HPV and cervical cancer. To schedule a well woman visit with the ob/gyn doctors of Health Central Women’s Care, please visit www.healthcentralobgyn.com.