DAYTON, OHIO—January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Experts at Wright State Physicians Obstetrics & Gynecology are encouraging the public to take important steps to prevent cervical cancer and other cancers.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common infection that spreads through sexual activity. About 79 million people in the United States have HPV but many do not realize they are infected, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HPV is a major cause of cervical, genital, anal, rectal and throat cancers. In addition, HPV can cause genital warts.
Jerome Yaklic, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist with Wright State Physicians Obstetrics & Gynecology and associate professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, encourages women to get regular screening exams and Pap smears.
“Women should begin getting regular Pap smears at age 21,” Yaklic said. “A Pap smear can help detect abnormal cells and allow treatment before they have the opportunity to turn into cancer.”
He encourages teens and young adults to get the HPV vaccine if they did not get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can get the vaccine. “It is very important for both boys and girls to get the vaccine,” he said. “HPV infections in men can also cause cancer.”
Wright State Physicians Inc. is composed of more than 180 physicians affiliated with the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. The group provides primary and specialty care in a wide range of specialized diagnostic and treatment services throughout the Dayton region.