Not that long ago, cervical cancer was the predominant cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States, one-quarter of which were over the age of 65. Thanks to screening and prevention, those numbers have been slowly reducing, but there is still a long way to go. Thousands of women still die of this disease annually. Many will require the help of home health care agencies in Harrisburg, PA.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. At AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg, PA, we recognize two major barriers to continuing the fight against Cervical Cancer. One is education. The other is prevention by ongoing screening and inoculation. Nearly all cases (70%) of Cervical Cancer begin with an HPV infection; vaccines designed to protect against HPV (Gardasil and Cervarix) could potentially prevent many cases. Pap smears may also catch the problem. So why are these preventatives used more often?
That question returns us to education. There is a general lack of public awareness. Girls and boys between the ages of 11-12 should receive the HPV injection, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). While primary physicians may stress getting the inoculations, something in communication often falls through, leaving children at risk of future HPV cancers.
Two Types of Cervical Cancer
The type of cervical cancer a person has depends on where the disease began. Squamous Cell Carcinoma develops in the outer part of a woman’s cervix, visible during gynecological exams. This is where 90% of cervical cancer originates.
Adenocarcinoma begins in the inner part of the cervix. It is rare. Sometimes both types of cancer appear simultaneously, again a rare occurrence.
How Can PAP Tests Help?
Because cervical cancer is usually a slowly growing problem, a Pap test may detect abnormalities that act as a red flag for future checkups. Pap can also detect cancer in its early form. In both cases, there is a better chance of recovery when the disease is caught in the initial stages.
The good thing is that testing can be done in a clinic or doctor’s office rather than the hospital. If you have a professional home caregiver, they can transport your loved one to and from the appointment, leaving your time open for other matters. For those without health insurance, there are programs offering low-cost screening.
The Aging Population
The mortality rate of cervical cancer in elderly women is high. Studies indicate that delayed diagnosis and insufficient treatment are two correlating factors. The average age of diagnosis is in the early 50s, but there is a second peak of this cancer in women that happens between 60-70. Because these women often have other issues like heart disease and diabetes, their risks are greatly increased.
Home Health Care Agencies Harrisburg PA
Looking for home health care agencies in Harrisburg, PA? When you hire professional caregivers, they are there to provide support, not just with daily tasks but with any protocols that a physician puts in place for “at home” care. AmeriBest staff has been trained to follow the care plans diligently. When you cannot be home, WE can be.
How To Access Home Care in Harrisburg PA?
Contact our Harrisburg office at 717-545-2920. You can also email us at email@example.com or contact us here.
We’ll be happy to help you navigate the process!