Screening and Prevention
Aurora BayCare Gynecologic Oncology offers genetic counseling, preventive care and screenings for women with a significant family history of cancer.
I have a family history of cancer. Can I do anything proactively?
Genetic counseling can provide hereditary cancer testing for women with a significant family history of cancer. If you are genetically predisposed for gynecologic cancer, we can recommend a plan for preventative care and screenings.
How can women reduce their risk of getting gynecologic cancer?
Gynecologic cancer is not completely preventable, but the risk can be reduced by following these strategies:
- Get regular Pap smears, as recommended by your physician.
- Get vaccinated against HPV, or human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer. HPV vaccinations are most effective when women are in their teens and 20s. (Men also should be vaccinated against HPV to prevent spreading it to their sexual partners.)
- Abstain from sex or limit your sexual partners to decrease your potential exposure to HPV.
- Use a condom during sex to reduce your potential exposure to HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can interact with an HPV infection and accelerate the development of gynecologic cancer.