the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES). It was used in the 1950s to prevent miscarriages and the side effects can be passed on to the children of those who took it.
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What To Expect From Your Doctor
Once you get in touch with your doctor, they’ll likely start the process of diagnosing your condition. Typically, this starts with doing a pap smear where cells are collected from your cervix and inspected under a microscope.
If the cells are normal, you won’t need to do anything else. If they are abnormal, however, your doctor will order further tests to determine what the abnormal cells mean and how to move forward.
These tests can include biopsies and blood tests. Regardless of what your doctor decides, it’s important to maintain communication with them so you know what to expect at each step. This ensures that you can let them know if anything changes in your symptoms or if you’re experiencing bad side effects.
Can Cervical Cancer Be Prevented?
The key to preventing cervical cancer is catching the abnormal cells quickly. To that end, it’s essential that you have regular pap smears. The frequency may vary with age so ask your doctor what’s best for you.
Since cervical cancer is linked to HPV, it’s best to get tested for the virus often. Avoiding unprotected sex will also prevent exposure to the virus or other STIs that can increase your risk of getting the virus.
Another helpful aspect to consider is the HPV vaccine. This vaccine is a great option for people who have not yet been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Make sure to talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s right for you.
Cervical cancer is a huge concern for Black women. The best thing you can do to stay healthy is to catch it quickly. Watch out for the symptoms listed here and always talk to your doctor about the ways you can prevent the disease from getting worse.