Dr. Michele Odrobina, OB/GYN for United Memorial Medical Center and faculty member of the Family Medicine Residency Program answers today's question about cervical cancer prevention.
Q: What can a woman do to decrease her risk of getting cervical cancer?
A: Condoms or abstinence are the best way to prevent HPV transmission. The vaccine has been shown to significantly lower the risk of transmission. The more sexual contacts, the higher the risk of cervical cancer. Smoking is known to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Routine pap smears every one to three years can detect abnormal cells in very early stages. When abnormal cells are detected and treated, a women can significantly lower her lifetime risk of progression to cervical cancer.