The HPV Test That May Be Better Than a Pap Smear

Research shows how effective HPV testing is.

Typically the pap smear is given at every annual gynecologist visit to make sure all cervical cells are normal and healthy. If there are abnormalities, that could be an indication of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which could eventually lead to the development of cervical cancer. 

New research has shown that a specific test for HPV, rather than a pap smear, is more efficient and accurate when it comes to detecting cervical cell abnormalities. In recent years getting both an HPV test and a pap smear in one visit was recommended. But with this new research, many experts are calling for the pap smear test to be removed from practices altogether. Other experts disagree, claiming that the pap smear is still necessary to assess the full scope of the cervix and both tests should remain in practice. Even with the debates, there is no doubt that the HPV test is beneficial to women's health to prevent the number of cervical cancer cases from increasing. 


Related: 

How Cervical Cancer Starts

What to Expect from a Gynecologist Visit (at Every Age and Stage)

The Connection Between HPV and Cancer

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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