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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:11 pm
Posts: 1
I am a graduate student in a Clincal Nurse Specialist Program and we are developing health promotion projects for class. In doing mine on gynecological screening I was wondering what people's thoughts were on how to reach the adolescent and young adults to impact their thoughts on getting screened regularly? It is so important but a lot of the resources out there seem geared towards the older woman and not the women who need it!
This resource is one of the best and most relatable that I have found, any other thoughts?
Thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi Ash,

Cervical cancer screening is currently recommended to begin within three years of first vaginal intercourse, or by age 21 regardless. Women in this age group are not the ones most often diagnosed with significant cervical precancers or cancers, though, and women in their 30s and 40s are the ones primarily at risk. HPV infections and cell changes in younger women tend to clear readily, which is why HPV DNA testing is only approved for routine use in women age 30 and older.

Younger women do need to get into the habit of Pap testing, though, no doubt about that. They also are the ones primarily in need of the HPV vaccine (currently approved for females through their mid-20s). Also, sexually active women under age 26 should be screened yearly for chlamydia.

I think the focus should be on prevention: 1) HPV vaccines during adolesence; 2) Pap testing shortly after beginning sexual activity or by age 21; 3) awareness that young women are at very high risk for a number of STDs, many of which don't readily cause symptoms. About 10-20% of women with untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia, for example, will experience pelvic inflammatory disease as a result, which could lead to tubal pregnancies and, potentially, infertility.

Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:21 am
Posts: 27
This isn't gw a specific comment. I thought I was educated and always asked to be tested even during periods of not having sex. I always thought in asking to be tested for everything that I was indeed getting what I asked for without bringing in a laundry list of the specifics (or being presented with specifics). Lo-and-behold I found out even when I went to Planned Parenthood I wasn't tested for everything. For example, I was not tested for chlamydia until a boyfriend found out he had it (at 31). In my mind it's a serious mistake for that to not be part of the run-of-the-mill checkas it's often symptomless and can render women infertile.

I'd say that a big part is creating, say a bookmark with test names and recommendations for when it would be good to be tested for it.

Good luck with your research.

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