A simple phone call might have saved Shari’s life. A CDPHP community health specialist called Shari and offered to help her set up an appointment for a cervical cancer screening, commonly known as a Pap test. Shari decided that there was no time like the present and picked a day and time to see her OB/GYN.
The results of her Pap test were abnormal, so Shari made several follow-up appointments, one of which determined that the abnormality was a precancerous growth. Fortunately, the growth was successfully removed in time, and Shari is alive and well. She concluded that she owes her good health to that phone call.
“It saved my life,” she recently told the community health specialist.
Certain risk factors can increase a woman’s chances of developing cervical cancer, including:
According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer can be found early, and sometimes prevented entirely, through regular Pap and HPV tests. These screenings can also detect pre-cancers so that they are treated before they become cervical cancer. Most invasive cervical cancers are found in women who have never had a Pap test or who have not had one recently.
When detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. In fact, thanks to the effectiveness of the Pap test, the cervical cancer death rate in the U.S. actually declined by more than 50 percent over the last 30 years.
As part of its comprehensive benefit plans, CDPHP covers these life-saving screenings in full when provided by an in-network doctor, and members do not need a referral from their primary care physician. To find a participating doctor who offers Pap tests, use our Find-A-Doc search tool.
Our screening guidelines are as follows:
|First Pap test; Pap tests aren’t needed for women 16 – 20 unless there are special circumstances.
|Pap test every three years, as long as the test results are normal.
|21 to 64
|Pap test every five years when paired with an HPV co-test.
|30 to 64
|No additional Pap tests needed, but pelvic exams are still recommended; doctors should make that determination. The exception is for a woman who had a serious precancerous change to her cervix at some point in her life.
|Older than 65
|Pap tests are no longer needed after a total hysterectomy that includes removing the cervix; however, vaginal pap smears may still be done after a total abdominal hysterectomy when cancer was the reason.
Don’t put it off; schedule your screening today.