Cancer control and prevention are vital to everyone. While little is being said in the media these days, cancer has a major impact on society in the United States and across the world. According to Cancer.org,
The rate of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 442.4 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2013–2017 cases).
The cancer death rate (cancer mortality) is 158.3 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2013–2017 deaths).
Every year during the month of April, we honor the fearless spirit of men and women across the country who are battling cancer and those who are cancer survivors.
April is Cancer Control Month, an observance aimed at raising awareness for cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. At the Women’s OB/GYN center, we are dedicated to helping women detect potential cancer to help prevent its spread. We hope that through getting to know Cancer Control and Prevention, we will help save lives.
The three most common types of cancer in female patients are breast, lung, and colorectal.
- An estimated 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lives
- This year will see an estimated 281,550 new diagnosis of invasive breast cancer along with an estimated 49,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer
- An estimated 43,600 U.S. women are likely to die from breast cancer in 2021
- There will be an estimated 14,480 new cases of invasive cervical cancer this year
- About 4,290 women will, unfortunately, die from cervical cancer in 2021
As alarming as these numbers are, there is a silver lining.
Regular Screenings Significantly Reduce Cancer Deaths
Breast cancer death rates for women under 50 haven’t increased since 2007, while the rate continues to drop for women over 50.
Between 2013 and 2018, there was a yearly 1% decrease in breast cancer’s overall death rate.
Likewise, cervical cancer used to be one of the most common types of cancer-related deaths for American women. However, the overall cervical cancer death rate dropped significantly as more women got regular Pap tests.
These decreases directly result from treatment advances and earlier detection through regular screening procedures, including mammograms, Pap, and HPV tests.
How Often Should You Visit Your OB/GYN
Regular checkups are essential to maintaining your good health. Even if you are feeling healthy, don’t cancel your appointment with your OB/GYN. These visits allow you to connect with your doctor and identify potential issues before they can develop into serious problems.
Your OB/GYN visits’ frequency largely depends on these three factors: your age, your health, and whether you have a family history of cancer.
- The ideal time to make your first gynecologist appointment is around the age of 16.
- Young women under 21 who are not sexually active can typically schedule a visit every other year
- Women under 21 who are sexually active should schedule a yearly appointment
- Women between 21 and 29 years of age should visit their gynecologist at least once a year
- Women over 30 who are in good health, not pregnant, and not undergoing treatment for any disease can see their OB/GYN once every other year
- Women ages 30 to 65 who have no risk factors and have had negative recent Pap test results should have a combination Pap and HPV test done every five years
- Women 65 and older with no history of precancerous cells or cervical cancer and who have had at least three consecutive negative Pap test results or two consecutive negative Pap/HPV tests in the previous ten years do not need to have Pap tests
When to Call Your OB/GYN
Aside from your annual or bi-annual exams, you should schedule an appointment with your gynecologist should you experience any of the following:
- Vaginal or pelvic pain or discomfort
- Changes in menstruation including heavy periods, spotting between periods, or skipped periods
- Unusual vaginal discharge – this could be a sign of infection-
- Unusual odors
Receive the care you deserve from a team of compassionate and highly experienced gynecologists. For more information on how regular OB/GYN visits can help protect your health and prevent cancer, contact us today!