What She Needs To Know About Cervical Cancer | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

January is Cervical Cancer month. The incidence of cervical cancer has decreased more than 50% in the past 30 years because of wide spread screening with the Pap smear. In 1975, the rate was 14.8 per 100,000 women in the United States. In 2006, it had been reduced to 6.5 per 100,000 women. Death from cervical cancer has also decreased significantly. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, there were about 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer and about 4,000 deaths from the disease. Of the 11,000 new cases that were diagnosed, it is estimated that 50% of those women had never had a Pap smear done and another 10% had not been screened within the past 5 years.

The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is performed in your healthcare provider’s office. The Pap smear is obtained when your healthcare provider performs a pelvic examination and inserts an instrument referred to as a speculum inside the vagina. The speculum may be either made of metal or plastic. The speculum opens the vagina and once it is properly positioned, allows the healthcare provider to see the cervix. The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus and contains cells on the outside and inside that are taken for further evaluation. The cells are removed with a brush that contains bristles and a flat spatula. These cells are suspended in fluid and sent to the lab.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that screening start at age 21. How frequently a Pap smear is performed is determined by the age of the patient, onset of sexual activity, prior abnormal results, medical problems that may require more frequent surveillance, and/or use of contraceptives. The interval can be increased to every three years in the woman who has had three consecutive normal Pap smears.

The causative factors for cervical cancer include exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), early sexual activity, cigarette smoking and multiple sexual partners. Preventive measures include use of condoms, monogamous relationships and early administration of the HPV vaccine. To date, more than 100 strains of virus have been identified. The recommendation is that both females and males are vaccinated prior to exposure to sexual activity.

New recommendations require that all persons 30 years of age and older be tested for the presence of low or high risk viral strains along with the standard screening of the Pap smear and appropriate management recommended. The risk of cervical cancer decreases with age. ACOG recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus.

The key to prevention is being consistent with your appointments and early detection of any abnormalities which may increase your risk of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms. You may feel perfectly well. However, abnormal bleeding not related to any other known causes such as fibroids, hormonal abnormalities, cervical or uterine polyps, may be a sign. Other signs include bleeding between cycles, pelvic pain, discharge with a foul odor.

The treatment for cervical cancer varies depending on the stage of cancer. It could be surgical, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The more advanced the cancer, the more treatment required.

Your healthcare provider will determine the schedule for your routine screening. The staff at any of our locations in Reston, Ashburn or Chantilly are available for any of your healthcare needs.

Tracy Robinson’s Story | Cervical Cancer

loudounseptoct2016_page_20September 3, 2016 was the day that my world was changed forever. I went in for what was a simple surgery to remove a cyst and woke up with a full hysterectomy, appendectomy and ovarian cancer. Tears rolled down my face as I came in and out of anesthesia. Why? Why me? It took me a few days but then I realized that there was a reason. This silent killer attacked one very vocal and determined woman and I wasn’t about to lay around and do nothing.

I get asked a lot how I keep such a good spirit. I truly believe that positive thinking is healing for the body mind and soul. Sure, I have bad days just like everyone else. Cancer/Chemo took a lot from me but I survived and am here to make some noise.

Here are a few things I learned as a cancer patient:

  1. We are more concerned about the people around us and how our illness is impacting them.
  2. We feel guilty that we didn’t take advantage of every last minute in our lives.
  3. Although we appreciate all the love and generosity we want to be treated normal when you interact with us.
  4. Friends, you need to understand that we will never be the same again. We may think differently, sometimes act differently and most definitely view life entirely differently.
  5. Chemo Brain is REAL! For me, I went through phases of what seemed like blackouts. I nearly drove my kids, friends and co-workers insane. I believe that my mind, the love of my family and friends and pure determination to beat this cancer played a major part in my survival.

What keeps me motivated and inspired?

  • I believe that if you change your thinking then you will change your world.
  • Knowing that my continuing fight may just save my children and yours as well.
  • The tears and gratitude from survivors and families of those that passed.
  • The feeling of 300 professional peers giving me a standing ovation.
  • My biggest inspirations, Makenzie and Hunter, telling me how proud they are of me for everything that has happened and what I have made of it. Maybe you are a survivor, a loved one of a survivor or just someone that wants to make a difference. I challenge you to get involved in a cause – don’t wait to have a reason!

One in every three people are affected by cancer. It doesn’t take a lot of money to be supportive, just the desire and passion to make a difference. I am honored to be able to share my story with you and hope that you not only gain awareness but also inspiration to never give up.

Whatever your struggle is, know that your inner strength is greater than you could ever imagine.

To learn more about my journey, please read my blog: TracRobinson.wordpress.com

 Hugs, Tracy

Woman to Woman What you Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

JANUARY is CERVICAL CANCER month. The incidence of cervical cancer has decreased more than 50% in the past 30 years because of wide spread screening with the Pap smear. In 1975, the rate was 14.8 per 100,000 women in

the United States. In 2006, it had been reduced to 6.5 per 100,000 women. Death from cervical cancer has also decreased significantly. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, there were about 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer and about 4,000 deaths from the disease. Of the 11,000 new cases that were diagnosed, it is estimated that 50% of those women had never had a Pap smear done and another 10% had not been screened within the past 5 years.

The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is performed in your healthcare provider’s office. The Pap smear is obtained when your healthcare provider performs a pelvic examination and inserts an instrument referred to as a speculum inside the vagina. The speculum may be either made of metal or plastic. The speculum opens the vagina and once it is properly positioned, allows the healthcare provider to see the cervix. The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus and contains cells on the outside and inside that are taken for further evaluation. The cells are removed with a brush that contains bristles and a flat spatula. These cells are suspended in fluid and sent to the lab.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that screening start at age 21. How frequently a Pap smear is performed is determined by the age of the patient, onset of sexual activity, prior abnormal results, medical problems that may require more frequent surveillance, and/or use of contraceptives. The interval can be in- creased to every three years in the woman who has had three consecutive normal Pap smears.

The causative factors for cervical cancer include exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), early sexual activity, cigarette smoking and multiple sexual partners. Preventive measures include use of condoms, monogamous relationships and early administration of the HPV vaccine. To date, more than 100 strains of virus have been identified. The recommendation is that both females and males are vaccinated prior to exposure to sexual activity.

New recommendations require that all persons 30 years of age and older be tested for the presence of low or high risk viral strains along with the standard screening of the Pap smear and appropriate management recommended. The risk of cervical cancer decreases with age. ACOG recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus. The key to prevention is being consistent with your appointments and early detection of any abnormalities which may increase your risk of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms. You may feel perfectly well. However, abnormal bleeding not related to any other known causes such as fibroids, hormonal abnormalities, cervical or uterine polyps, may be a sign. Other signs include bleeding between cycles, pelvic pain, discharge with a foul odor.

The treatment for cervical cancer varies depending on the stage of cancer. It could be surgical, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The more advanced the cancer, the more treatment required.

Your healthcare provider will determine the schedule for your routine screening. The staff at any of our locations in Reston, Ashburn or Chantilly are available for any of your healthcare needs.

www.womenphysicians.org
(703) 834-1071 for an appointment

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 8.10.55 AMDr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe received her M.D. de- gree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and did her residency train- ing in Obstetrics & Gynecology at George- town University Hospital. She is affiliated with the Women Physicians of Northern Virginia, an all female medical team, with offices in Reston, Ashburn and Chantilly/South Riding. Dr. Ivey-Crowe has three children. In her spare time she enjoys needlecraft and reading.

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