Saturday, August 14, 2010

The HPV Test

We’ve all heard all the news about the HPV vaccine for our girls. I’m not going to debate this here. However, there is something that all women can do for the early detection and fight against Cervical Cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide, yet is easily preventable because we know its cause, HPV.

There is a test for HPV. HPV testing can identify if you have one of the "high-risk" infections on your cervix that can cause cervical cancer. The HPV test can be performed at the same time as the Pap test to help doctors identify which women are at greatest risk. However not all doctors automatically use both tests.

That is why it is essential that women act as their own health advocates.

Learn about what you can do to protect yourself against cervical cancer:

• THE PAP TEST looks at a sample of cells taken from a woman's cervix for any cell changes or abnormalities. Pap testing should begin at age 21.
• THE HPV TEST is conducted from the same sample as the Pap and identifies women with high-risk HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer. When used with a Pap in women 30 and older, the HPV test increases the ability to identify who is at risk of developing cervical cancer.
• If you are age 30 or older, ask your doctor for the digene HPV Test together with your Pap test.
• If both tests come back normal, then the tests don’t need to be repeated for 3 years. But remember to return each year for your annual health exam.
• If one or both tests come back abnormal, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. It simply enables your health care provider to monitor you more closely or treat pre-cancerous cells before cervical cancer develops.
• HPV testing isn’t necessary for women younger than 30, because HPV infections in young women usually go away on their own without causing problems. Women under 30 will only have HPV testing if their Pap test is inconclusive.

Please check out for more info about the HPV test and remember to ask your doctor at your next yearly exam to run the test.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the QIAGEN digene HPV test. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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