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Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Methodist oncologist talks prevention and treatment

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Methodist oncologist talks prevention and treatment
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Methodist oncologist talks prevention and treatment(WMC)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:16 PM EST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

The rate of cervical cancer has trended downward for the last two decades. However, according to the Center for Disease Control’s latest data, Tennessee is one of eight states with the highest rates of cervical cancer cases.

“Cervical cancer is preventable, but it’s also treatable,” said Methodist Cancer Institute Oncologist Ashley Hendrix.

Hendrix credits the decline in cervical cancer to the HPV vaccine.

“What it does is prevent infections,” said Hendrix, “It helps to prevent changes to the cervix itself, so in turn, preventing cervical cancer.”

Hendrix says advancements in screenings has also contributed to the decline in cervical cancer. She says patients should undergo pap smears at least every three years beginning at age 21.

Thanks to HPV screenings, Hendrix says the time between screenings can be extended to every five years instead of every three years.

Hendrix adds that treatment for cervical cancer can vary depending on the stage of cancer.

“You may just simply need surgery,” she said, “Or, if you’re in a more advanced stage you may need radiation. Or, in addition you may need chemotherapy or immunotherapy based on your type of cervical cancer.”

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