January 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Local oncologists encourage women to get screened for cervical cancer for National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Pinellas Park, Fla. — If you were told that you could prevent a certain type of cancer, wouldn’t you take every step to do so? Cervical cancer is one of the most common reproductive cancers in females, but women can take steps to greatly reduce their risk of developing it. In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, local oncologists make efforts to encourage women to take charge of their health and get screened for this largely preventable cancer.

“Many cervical cancer cases could be prevented, or at least caught early, if all women received proper screening for this disease,” says Robert Miller, M.D., oncologist at Wellspring Oncology in Pinellas Park. “Simply visiting your gynecologist once a year can greatly reduce a woman’s risk.”

Though cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, cases have dropped significantly over the past 50 years. This sharp decrease is largely due to the development of better medical screening for women.  Still, this year approximately 12,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Nearly one-third of these women will not survive this disease.

Am I At Risk?

“Cervical cancer doesn’t discriminate,” says Miller. “All women of all ages are at risk for developing the disease. However, there are certain factors that can increase a woman’s risk.”

The most common cause of cervical cancer is the human papilloma virus, or HPV. This virus is passed from one person to another through sexual contact and can infect the cervix. However, for most women, HPV will go away on its own without ever causing cervical cancer. Only a very small amount of women infected with HPV will develop cancer of the cervix.

While HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer, it is not the only factor that can increase a woman’s risk. Other known risk factors for cervical cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Extended use of birth control pills
  • Giving birth to three or more children
  • Multiple sexual partners or sexual activity at a young age
  • HIV or other immune system disorders
  • Irregular screening history

The best ways to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer is through regular pap tests to screen for precancerous cervical cells and by following-up with your doctor, should the test come back abnormal. Also, always practice safe sex by using a condom, don’t smoke and consider an HPV vaccine to protect yourself against the virus.

A Quiet Cancer

Generally there are no symptoms associated with earlier stages of cervical cancer. Some of the first signs of more advanced cancer include irregular vaginal bleeding, heavier or longer-lasting menstrual periods and abnormal vaginal discharge. As the cancer progresses, the patient may experience painful urination, fatigue, weight loss, a dull backache or swelling of the legs.

“Early stages of cervical cancer very rarely involve any pain or symptoms,” says Miller. “Even the symptoms a woman may experience from more advanced stages are often thought to be something less serious. It is a very quiet cancer.”

“However, cervical cancer is also highly treatable when found early,” Miller continues. “Depending on the best treatment for the patient, whether radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, early stages can be treated and result in a long survival rate and good quality of life. This is why regular screening to catch it in the earlier stages is so important.”

About WellSpring Oncology: Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment.  The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer.  The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all board-certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the University of California San Francisco.

WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida.  For more information, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at www.wellspringoncology.org.


Entry filed under: Press Releases. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Bucks for Butts – Calling all smokers, including our chief in command JUST A COUPLE OF KIDS (DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER) IN LOVE…

Return to Main Site

Return to Main Site

Calendar of Posts

January 2011
« Nov   Feb »

Become a Fan

Find us on Facebook

%d bloggers like this: