COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Cervical cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer if found early.
Dr. Paula Walker-King says that cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is mostly transmitted through sexual activity.
Dr. Paula says this is a silent disease with no obvious symptoms. By the time a woman notices symptoms like vaginal discharge or bleeding, it is more advanced.
Women should begin routine testing, with tests like a pap smear, at age 21. Low-risk patients, meaning those without multiple sexual partners or a history of cancer, can then get re-tested every three to five years. High-risk patients should adjust those guidelines to get tested more often.
Dr. Paula says that the CDC suggests vaccinating adolescents before they become sexually active to give them the greatest chance of resisting the virus.
If you notice a change, be sure to call your doctor immediately.