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Get checked out

7. May 2008

An estimated 70% of girls in the Western world will have an HPV (human papillomavirus) infection at some point in their lives. Most of the time HPV clears up on it’s own. However, in some cases it can cause genital warts or cause cells on the cervix to grow abnormally (different strains of the virus usually cause warts than cervical abnormalities although a few strains can cause both). If left untreated these abnormal cells can turn into cervical cancer. Almost all types of cervical cancer start out this way. The type of HPV that causes cervical lesions and the lesions themselves don’t usually cause any noticable symptoms.


It takes years (typically 10 YEARS) for these types of cell changes to turn cancerous. Getting a PAP SMEAR every year after you become sexually active detects these changes at a stage where they are treatable. The treatments for cervical lesions depend on the severity of the lesion, however, they are often uninvasive, outpatient procedures (ie. you leave the clinic and go home right after). Cervical lesions are 100% treatable.

Cervical Cancer is one of the few types of cancer that is almost entirely PREVENTABLE. Most women who develop cervical cancer have never had a Pap test, or have not followed up on an abnormal result.

TELL SOMEONE. Tell your mom, your sister, your best friend, your girlfriend, your aunt, your cousin. Tell yourself.

For more info on HPV and Pap tests see the website below.

And yes, obviously I never thought about talking about it until it affected me. get smart. get checked out early.

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