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About Ovarian and Gynecological Cancer

Knowing all there is to know about ovarian cancer helps you improve your gynecological health. Rather than let a symptom slide, you’ll know when it’s best to see your gynecologist for additional instructions. Your ovarian health relies on your ability to know what causes cancer and how to avoid it. Continue reading “About Ovarian and Gynecological Cancer” »

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How Exercise Can Reduce Cervical Cancer Risk

Statistics suggest that nearly 13,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year. Additionally, approximately 4,100 women will die from the disease this year.

This makes the news that moderate exercise can significantly reduce an individual’s risk for developing cervical cancer all the more critical.

Continue reading “How Exercise Can Reduce Cervical Cancer Risk” »

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Cervical Cancer & HPV Prevention

In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we shared the basics on cervical cancer and HPV last week.

Now, we’re exploring what preventative measures you can take to help lower your risk of cervical cancer or HPV.

Continue reading “Cervical Cancer & HPV Prevention” »

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Women, It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month! Learn About HPV & Cervical Cancer

In addition to the new year, there’s another reason to celebrate January. Women, did you know that it’s Cervical Health Awareness Month?

During this month, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition works to educate the nation on the issues associated with cervical health, like cervical cancer, HPV, preventative methods, early detection, and more.

To help their efforts, we are highlighting some of the key information about these topics this month.

Continue reading “Women, It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month! Learn About HPV & Cervical Cancer” »

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STDs & Cervical Cancer: What Women Need to Know

September is a big month for women’s sexual health: there are four big awareness holidays to celebrate, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month, Menopause Awareness Month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month.

Today, we’re exploring how one of the five main gynecological cancers — cervical cancer — relates to STDs.

Continue reading “STDs & Cervical Cancer: What Women Need to Know” »

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Preventing Cervical Cancer With STD Testing

Did you know that January is Cervical Health Awareness Month? That makes it a perfect time for women to educate themselves on the causes of cervical cancer, including strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Although an HPV vaccination is available, the STD is still extremely common — almost every person who is sexually active will face exposure at some point.

Around 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Fortunately, it can be prevented or treated if it is caught early enough. In honor of Cervical Health Awareness month, here are some steps to take to support your cervical health.

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Get Screened Regularly

TEST SMARTLY LABS | Preventing Cervical Cancer With STD TestingBetween the ages of 21 and 65, women should get regular cervical cancer screenings. The most common type of cervical cancer screening is the pap smear, which looks for precancers, which are cellular changes on the cervix that could develop into cervical cancer without treatment. Starting at age 21 you should receive a pap smear once per year; continue having them until you turn 65, even if you are not sexually active. Catching the problem early on through screenings can help you better treat cervical cancer.

Another cervical cancer screening is the HPV test. HPV is the root of cellular changes, so its presence can indicate the possibility of cervical cancer. Although HPV is widespread and can stay in your system for two years, it doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, which means many people may not know that they have the virus. That’s why getting screened for the causes of cervical cancer is so important.

Get Your HPV Vaccination

HPV vaccination, which is administered in three shots over 6 months, can protect against HPV infection, which in turn helps prevent cervical cancer. The ideal time to be vaccinated is at age 11 or 12 for girls and boys, but males can seek vaccination through age 21, and females through age 26. Cervarix and Gardasil are the two HPV vaccines that protect women against cervical cancer.

Get STD Testing

Even though you may think you don’t need STD testing, the truth is that everyone — even those who have never been sexually active — is at risk for HPV and other STDs. You can get tested specifically for causes of cervical cancer like HPV, but it’s also a good idea to get tested for other STDs. Detecting and treating your STDs will improve your overall health.

Prevent Cervical Cancer – Get STD Testing at TEST SMARTLY LABS Today!

At TEST SMARTLY LABS, we care about your total wellness, including your cervical health. Early detection and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases leads to a healthier you, which is why many of our locations offer comprehensive STD testing.

Find the ARCpoint Lab near you and get reliable, confidential STD testing done today!

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Why STD Testing is Important for Women

TEST SMARTLY LABS | Why STD Testing is Important for WomenIf you’re a woman who has never contracted an STD, you might wonder why STD testing is important for you. Even if you’ve only slept with a few trusted partners or one person, you can catch an STD without knowing it — even from something so innocent as receiving a kiss on the cheek. Many people are unaware how easy it is to contract an STD, especially from someone who hasn’t completed STD testing and isn’t aware that they have the STD in the first place.

When you consider that more than 110 million Americans have an STD and an estimated 19 million more are infected per year, STD testing doesn’t seem like an unnecessary step. The likelihood that you know someone who currently has an STD constantly rises.

Still, many women think that STDs can’t or won’t happen to them. Wondering why you should consider STD testing? Here’s why.

STD Testing: Why It’s Necessary for Women

Unknowing Carriers

You might think that STD testing isn’t needed because your sexual partner(s) will let you know if they have or have had an STD. But just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean that they know it — only STD testing will reveal the truth. Many STDs have few symptoms or symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, including:

  • GonorrheaGonorrhea symptoms include pain and burning in urination, yellow or bloody discharge, abdominal pain, or heavy menstrual flow. Without STD testing, symptoms of this STD are often confused with bladder infection.
  • Chlamydia: 3/4 of women who have chlamydia exhibit and experience no symptoms, which is why STD testing is vital. Those who do have symptoms may also confuse them with symptoms of a bladder infection — including abnormal discharge from the vaginal, a burning sensation during urination, and spotting between menstruation.
  • Herpes: Symptoms of this STD, including  sores or rashes on your vagina or back, vaginal discharge, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and pain while urinating, may come and go as the years pass. Still, even when you do not exhibit signs of herpes, the virus remains in your nerve cells and can ultimately increase your risk of contracting HIV — which shows why STD testing is so important.
  • HIV: Research has shown that 21% of people in the US who are infected with HIV haven’t undergone STD testing and are thus undiagnosed. HIV symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, rapid weight loss, fevers, night swears, diarrhea, coughing, and yeast infections, may not appear for years. This means that HIV-positive people could be unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

With STD testing, you will know if you or your sexual partner(s) have contracted any diseases in the past, which will prevent you from further spreading the infection.

Affects of STDs

STD testing does more than prevent the spread of diseases — it can also help you get treatment more quickly, which can prevent your STD from resulting in a very serious health problem. From infertility to cervical cancer to death, there are many long-term medical affects of STDs that can be avoided with simple STD testing. These affects include:

  • Chlamydia: If chlamydia spreads to your uterus or fallopian tubes, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This disease is not easily cured and can permanently damage your fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or even fatal ectopic pregnancy. After a positive diagnosis through STD testing, you can treat your chlamydia and prevent these outcomes.
  • Herpes: If you give birth vaginally when you have unknowingly carried the herpes virus, your baby could suffer blindness. STD testing is key when it comes to identifying and treating herpes.
  • Genital HPV: Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and anal cancer, all of which have the potential to be fatal. When you and your partner receive STD testing, you can seek treatment for HPV if necessary.
  • HIV: When you contract HIV, your immune system weakens and makes you prone to contracting infections. HIV can lead to AIDS, a severe and often fatal autoimmune disorder. STD testing will help diagnose your HIV — and though there is currently no known cure for the disease, you can seek treatment to slow its progression.

These are just a few of the conditions that can result from STDs — there are countless other affects that could be treated or avoided by STD testing.

Get STD Testing Today

Ready to take charge of your health? TEST SMARTLY LABS offers comprehensive STD testing at many of its facilities nationwide. Click here to see if STD testing is available at the ARCpoint location near you.

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HPV Vaccines are for Everyone

On January 1, 2012, it officially became legal for a child who is 12 years old or older to get the HPV vaccine without parental consent. And while all the buzz right now is for young girls to get the vaccine, did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending boys get the shot as well?

Getting the HPV shot could save you from Cervical Cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancer.

What is HPV

The Human papillomavirus, better known as HPV is one of the most commonly spread sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. There are over 150 different strands of HPV.

One out of every two sexually active people will most likely contract the virus in their lifetime.

How is it Contacted?

Out of the 150 strands, 40 of them can be transmitted sexually. Any form of genital contact can spread the disease.

Why Should Boys also get the Shot?

While most cases of HPV will go away on their own after a few years, it does have the potential to cause cervical cancer in women. And new studies are showing that it can also cause oropharyngeal that can be found in men and women. Oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer located in the throat.

Getting the HPV shot can also lower the risk for anal cancer which can also occur in men and women.

STD Screenings

If you’ve never the HPV shot, and are worried about being a carrier, find a STD testing lab in your area. An STD lab will be able to screen you specifically for HPV.

If you are currently sexually active, be on the safe side and get tested. Not only does testing give you piece of mind, but it will be beneficial to your sexual partners. Getting screened for HPV might just save your life.

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