In honor of cervical cancer awareness month, which is recognized every January, OBGYN Dr. Marisol Carpio-Solis took some time out of her schedule to talk through the disease with our partners at Houston Moms about the disease.
Impacting the lower part of the uterus known as the cervix,
cervical cancer is screened through a pap smear. The routine test, which is
carried out on a sample of cells from the cervix, checks for abnormalities that
may be indicative of cervical cancer.
If a reading comes back abnormal or showing signs of cancer, a colposcopy is done to make a formal diagnosis.
Early stages of the disease often have no telling signs or symptoms,
but individuals with advanced cases may experience abnormal bleeding or pelvic
Over 97% of cervical cancer cases stem from the human papilloma
virus (HPV), so vaccination against the disease is urged in both male and
female individuals ages 9 to 45.
Health care providers follow the recommended number of vaccine doses, based on the individual's age:
- Individuals between the ages of 9-14: two shots
- Individuals who are 15 years of age or older:
Should someone be diagnosed with cervical cancer, treatment
options will vary. Sometimes it’s curable with a hysterectomy; other times chemotherapy
and radiation are required.
To learn more, watch the full discussion.